UPDATED: HANDLE WITH CARE – COVID- 19 TRAINING PROTOCOLS
As States begin to reopen, it is important that we are ready and have established protocols in place. The current strategy is to provide a structured and phased guideline for reopening while leaving it up to the Governors of each state, and regions on the exact timing for implementing each phase.  The protocol outlined below is based on the standards and requirements we are seeing across multiple regions and States.  These protocols will vary based on i.e. (1) State requirements; (2) phase of re-opening; (3) whether the training is on-site or via seminar, and (4) the client. This protocol is subject to modification. We're using the best available information at hand. HWC Training Protocols include: Participants attending HWC Training must certify they are healthy and to the best of their knowledge NOT at risk of spreading COVID (i.e. do not have COVID symptoms, do not have COVID and are not in a quarantine or stay at home period if exposed to COVID). Participants who show signs of symptoms of COVID cannot attend training. The room size provided by the organization will meet State distancing or occupancy requirements for the number of Participants expected. Prior to attending everyone (HWC trainers included) will be asked to take their temperature and make an self-health assessment that they are not experiencing COVID symptoms. We're setting 100 degrees Fahrenheit as the maximum temp permitted to participate. Please ask your staff to self-screen their temps at home on the morning of training. Prior to attending the training or entering the training room there will be a sign-in table where temperature will be taken, participants will sanitize or wash their hands, and gloves (hand sanitizing) and masks will be required.  We ask that no one enters the training room until their sign-in process is completed. Masks and gloves stay on unless the person leaves on a break.  When the person returns, s/he must resanitize and change gloves.  The same mask can be kept. Masks stay on unless you need to remove it to speak or breathe.  If the mask is taken off social distancing must be adhered to.  Before the mask is dropped the person must distance 6 feet from the nearest person.  Trainers can drop their mask for longer briefings, explanations, broadcasting training.  The trainer has to be at least 6 feet away if his/her mask is down. Where social distancing cannot be maintained, masks and gloves must be worn. During Personal Defense, each participant will keep the same partner. During the physical restraint training, including "spotting" practice, particpatns will be divided into small groups and remain with that group throughout. Additionally If there is any question about scheduling HWC training, the Client should check with the State and/or licensing agency as to when training can proceed. There may be last minute schedule adjustments or rescheduling due to COVID i.e. the trainer becomes ill and there is no time to provide a substitute trainer or a substitute trainer is not available, changing COVID protocols, restrictions or limitations. If the last minute cancellation is due to HWC, we will cover HWC (not client) out-of-pocket travel costs.  If the last minute cancellation is due to the organization/client, the organization shall cover any HWC  incurred non-refundable costs.    
Restraint in School - what the law says.
The press is finally starting to report the actual law governing restraint use.   This is a breath of fresh air.  In the past the press has lied to the public reporting that many or most states have no laws on the use of restraint.  A statement which is entirely false, as every state has laws on the use of restraint either in their Constitution, case law or statute. Handle With Care has been disseminating the law on restraint since 1999 when we presented in front of the Attorney General for the State of Virginia, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, a stream of advocate attorneys, newspaper reporters, and many other high powered persons. Every person at our initial presentation agreed with our legal analysis. Since that time we have disseminated the laws governing restraint to agencies and schools across the country.  To every Federal legislator and the vast majority of State Legislators. We are very proud that unlike the press, advocates, political hacks, and unelected bureaucrats running government agencies, we stood our ground, disseminated the law, and educated schools and other organizations about the law and their rights under the law. The article appeared in a U.K. publication - Schools Week, and was written by an attorney.  Here's what she says: "A member of staff may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances to prevent a pupil from committing an offence, causing injury to a person or themselves, causing damage to property or prejudicing the maintenance of good order and discipline." U.S. law is the the same. All we can say is, it is about time the press is starting to get it right. Read More
CA. Los Angeles Judge Objects to School Police Getting Millions Reserved for Students: Routine School Disciplinary Matters Should Be Handled By Schools, Not Police
Los Angeles’ top juvenile court judge is objecting to a planned diversion of $13 million to school police there from state funds earmarked to provide special learning assistance to disadvantaged kids. In a June 6th letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash said this particular pot of money should not be diverted to support the L.A. district’s own school police force, which has an annual budget of around $57 million. Nash expressed “great respect" for recent efforts to reduce school suspensions and referrals to police, but said he did “not see a reasonable nexus between law enforcement and specifically improving the educational experience and outcomes for our most vulnerable student populations." “On the contrary," the judge said, “there has been a wealth of research that indicates that aggressive security measures produce alienation and mistrust among students which, in turn, can disrupt the learning environment." “This explains why, as part of a nationwide discipline reform process that has gained significant traction of late, there is a specific focus on reducing police involvement in routine school discipline matters," Nash wrote. Nash presides over one of the biggest juvenile courts in the country and was a recent president of the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges. In that role he also wrote to the White House expressing concerns about schools rushing to obtain federal money to put more school police on campuses. Judge Nash has been involved in efforts in Los Angeles to rein in the use of school police on campuses; practices were leading to the annual ticketing of tens of thousands  students for tardiness, truancy, schoolyard fights and other minor infractions. Nash argues that excessive use of police in essentially school discipline matters — and matters he said were better addressed through counseling and family support — were contributing to a “school-to-prison pipeline" putting kids at risk of greater, not less, trouble with the criminal justice system. Other interest groups concerned with the school to prison pipeline in California include:  Children's Defense Fund, ACLU of Southern California, Youth Justice Coalition, CADRE, Community Rights Campaign of the Labor Community Strategy Center in LA and Public Counsel (the nation's largest pro bono law firm focused on rolling back school-police ticketing in Los Angeles), National Council of Juvenile Court Judges and the Center for Public Integrity. Other California School Districts considering using money reserved for vulnerable students to supplement school police include Sacramento, Long Beach and Kern Union High School District, a Central Valley district with a record of high rates of student expulsion or transfers. Handle With Care will be writing the California Unified School Districts and interest groups mentioned above.  What is happening in California is that the Counties rather than the school are dictating policy and programming, and the policies and programming being provided are not meeting the real needs of the schools.  As a result the counties have unintentionally created a school to prison pipeline. What needs to happen is that the power to choose programming needs to revert back to the Local School Boards and Schools.  The fact is that the prison pipeline will dry up as soon as schools regain and demand the right to choose programming and policy that suits the real needs of the school, its educators and its students.