Seven underlying conditions that led to the use of seclusion and resulted in due process hearings

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This article presents the findings of a grounded theory analysis of 28 due process hearing decisions containing narrative accounts of the use of seclusion of students with disabilities in schools. • The analysis identifies seven underlying conditions that led to the use of seclusion within the hearings, (a) a loose legal boundary, (b) expert recommendation, (c) a special education setting, (d) manifestation of disability, (e) ineffective behavior management, (f) negative connotation of disability, and (g) the rationale for the seclusion event. • The theory that emerged from this study is that ineffective special education practices, permitted by a loose legal boundary and abetted by expert recommendation, resulted in avoidable seclusion events and due process hearing complaints. • Recommendations are provided for special education administrators in order to decrease the potential of due process hearings if and when seclusion is used as an emergency means for student and staff safety.

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