Public school officials in Massachusetts say they had to physically restrain students more than 9,000 times during the 2016-17 academic year.

Districts were required to report cases to the state for the first time as part of new rules meant to curb the practice.

State education officials released the data this week in response to a records request from The Associated Press.

The data show the 9,070 restraint cases led to 244 injuries to students or staff. Most schools reported few cases of restraint, but some had more than 200.

Christine Griffin heads the Disability Law Center advocacy group. She called the findings "extremely disturbing."

The John J. Doran Elementary School in Fall River reported 253 restraint cases, the most in the state. School leaders referred questions to the state.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420