Class-action status granted lawsuit over kids’ seclusion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawsuit targeting Iowa’s use of seclusion and restraints at a state home for male juvenile offenders has been granted class-action status.

The lawsuit filed in November 2017 by two advocacy groups says the school is failing to provide adequate mental health care to the boys and instead is administering powerful drugs without proper oversight or consent. The lawsuit alleges that the boys at Boys State Training School in Eldora are given medications “as a behavioral management tool” the groups likened to a chemical straitjacket.

The Des Moines Register reports that class-action certification means that, if the lawsuit is successful, required fixes would likely be more holistic in their approach.

State attorneys argued unsuccessfully that allowing the lawsuit to proceed as class-action litigation is overly broad and vague.

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