On behalf of the family of Kayleb Moon-Robinson, Virginia Legal Aid Society senior attorney Melissa K. Waugh states as follows:
“Kayleb’s family is pleased that he is now receiving the services and support he needs in the appropriate educational setting for him. He is happy and thriving in his new school, and the court and all those working with Kayleb are proud of all he has accomplished over the last eight months in this new placement.
“The family is also pleased that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Lynchburg City Schools and the Lynchburg Police Department has been revised. Schools should be a safe-haven for children. No school should allow a child to be restrained in handcuffs for over three hours, much less a child the school knew to have multiple disabilities. We applaud the school system’s new ‘prevention before intervention before enforcement’ approach.
“Kayleb’s family and VLAS believe this MOU should have gone further. Lynchburg City Schools should require that School Resource Officers (SROs) be trained in the needs of and accommodations for students with disabilities, as well as safe and appropriate de-escalation and restraint techniques (such as the Mandt program used to train LCS teachers and staff). SROs, like any other teacher or staff member, should proactively be familiar with Positive Behavior Support Plans in place for students in his or her assigned school – not just receive this information after a school-based infraction has occurred. The age limit for arresting children during school should be raised from 13 to 15 years of age and, regardless of the child’s age, any physical restraint should be limited in its duration in compliance with national, state, and local standards and policies regarding restraints in the classroom.”
A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding developed by LCS and LPD and attached to School Board minutes can be found on the Virginia Legal Aid Society website at: http://vlas.org/sandbox/news/vlas-news/