Lt. Gov Calls for Law Banning ‘Inhumane’, ‘Barbaric’ Practices in Special Education

Special education system will need to throw out ‘barbaric’ practices to keep its children safe, says Lt. Governor.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is pushing for changes in Michigan’s special education system.

He outlined findings of his special education listening tour and survey on Tuesday to the state Board of Education.

Of almost 2,000 parents surveyed, 24 percent said their child had been subjected to restraints or seclusion.

“There really is one place that is left where a child can go where they are not protected from the inhumane and barbaric practice of the use of restraints and seclusion for behavioral modification purposes – that is in schools,” Calley told board members.

“There are laws, rules, and restrictions on using restraints and seclusion rooms in prisons.”

The lieutenant governor also called for improving special education services and increasing access to them.

Calley – who has a daughter with autism – says many districts aren’t giving students the support or attention they need.

“Special education students are really the only students that we see regularly where there potential is assumed on the front end. And I think that’s a travesty.”

Some members of the Board of Education responded to the report by calling for more special education funding. Calley says there are fundamental changes that need to happen before lawmakers debate a funding increase.



  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.