The House has passed the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247) which is now know as the Keeping All Students Safe Act. It now moves to the Senate where it is known as S. 2860.
This is an important piece of legislation whose purpose is to prevent and reduce the use of physical restraint and seclusion in schools. Currently, most states and schools do not have a policy on restraint or seclusion and as reported to the House Committee on Education and Labor in May 2009, many students across the nation have died as a result of inappropriate use of these unregulated procedures. Students with behavior challenges often face the brunt of this burden and that is the reason why I write about it here.
Several advocacy organizations have position papers or draft statements about restraint and seclusion. Most intelligent organizations realize that there may be situations where R&S may be necessary to protect a student, but they always advocate proper training and prevention as a way to avoid it completely or to have strong policies in place to ensure it is not abused or used in place of an effective positive behavior intervention.
You may be asking yourself, “What can I do to raise awareness of this issue and make a difference for all our students”? Here is one answer: contact your senator and tell him/her that you support S. 2860 and the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Let them know that you are a parent, teacher, principal, researcher, or voter! That still matters.
Let me know how you made a difference for a student today by leaving a comment.
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