Heather Vogell


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Heather Vogell is a reporter at ProPublica looking at U.S. trade policy and the baby formula industry.

Previously, she investigated the rental housing market and how many of the nation’s biggest landlords were sharing data and using one company’s algorithm to set rents — potentially in violation of laws against price fixing. Afterward, dozens of tenants filed antitrust lawsuits and U.S. senators proposed legislation that would restrict the practice. She has also written about President Donald Trump’s business entanglements and collaborated with WNYC reporters on the podcast “Trump, Inc.” Her 2019 stories were the first to chronicle discrepancies between what the Trump Organization told New York City property tax officials and what it reported on loan documents.

At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, her work on test cheating in the public school system resulted in the indictments of the superintendent and 34 others. A series she co-authored, “Cheating Our Children,” examined suspicious test scores nationwide.

Her work has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism; it has also won the Hillman Prize, Sigma Delta Chi Awards and multiple honors from the Education Writers Association and the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

Massachusetts Tightens Rules on Restraining, Secluding Students

Under new rules, Massachusetts schools will not be allowed to use certain techniques to restrain or isolate students as frequently and will have to report all restraints and injuries.

New York City Sends $30 Million a Year to School With History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks

New York City kids make up the vast majority of the students at Massachusetts’ infamous Judge Rotenberg Center, and keep getting sent there despite repeated evidence of abuse.

Federal Investigators Crack Down on Two Virginia Schools’ Use of Restraints

Investigators found that children were being regularly pinned down or isolated and that their education was suffering as a result.

Meet the Groups Fighting Against Limits on Restraining School Kids

Republicans say it is a matter of states' rights.

Can Schools in Your State Pin Kids Down? Probably.

Public schoolchildren across the country were physically restrained or isolated in rooms they couldn’t leave at least 267,000 times in the 2011-2012 school year, despite a near-consensus that such practices are dangerous and have no therapeutic benefit. Many states have little regulation or oversight of such practices. This map shows where your state stands.

Restraint Techniques

A Minnesota Department of Education report shows these three common restraints. So-called prone restraints are known to restrict breathing and can be lethal to children. About half of states don’t have a law prohibiting public schools from using such restraints. Minnesota doesn’t allow prone restraints on disabled children and will ban the tactics altogether after August 2015.

Violent and Legal: The Shocking Ways School Kids Are Being Pinned Down, Isolated Against Their Will

Carson Luke, a young boy with autism, shattered bones in his hand and foot after educators grabbed him and tried to shut him into a “scream room.” Kids across the country risked similar harm at least 267,000 times in just one school year.

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