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Advocacy In Action

Issue 10

September 2010
Updated April 2011

Ending Restrait and Seclusion in Our Schools :: Countdown to Congressional Action

Every day in this country, children with disabilities are needlessly being subjected to harmful practices in the name of treating "challenging behaviors." As the nation's 50 million children return to school, many will do so with the continued risk of being mistreated. A series of reports have highlighted the urgent need for Federal legislation to address this issue. Below is a recap of recent activities.

April 2011

On April 6, 2011, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, introduces The Keeping All Students Safe Act, in the 112th Congress. Read the press release. (This bill is identical to H.R. 4247 introduced in the previous Congress.)

TASH releases "The Cost of Waiting," a report documenting the high cost of waiting to protect our children.

December 2010

The 111th Congress ends without action on House and Senate bills on Restrait and Seclusion. Given no action, the bills introduced in the 111th die.

September 2010

U.S. Senate :: S. 3895 introduced September 29, 2010 as the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill to protect students from inappropriate seclusion and physical restraint, and for other purposes. Sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Richard Burr. This bill replaces S. 2869 introduced in Dec. 2009.
Read Senator Dodd's comments on introduction.
August 2010

The Advocacy Institute :: Experts on the Record Podcast

" Restrait and Seclusion in Our Schools: Congress Responds

Listen as three leading experts on this issue discuss the degree of the problem, the pending Congressional legislation to address it, and why schools need not employ such techniques to keep children safe.

PODCAST (MP3, 30 minutes) TRANSCRIPT (10 pgs) WORD :: PDF
August 2010
APRAIS releases issue brief on the dangers of allowing restraint and seclusion in IEP’s or other documents as planned interventions.
March 2010
National Disability Rights Network releases update to its January 2009 report, School is Not Suppose to Hurt: Update on Progress in 2009 to Prevent and Reduce Restrait and Seclusion in Schools

March 2010
U.S. House of Representatives :: H.R. 4247 passed by full House March 3, 2010 and referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).
See how your House Member voted on H.R. 4247
. See all Congressional Actions on this bill.
February 2010
U.S. Department of Education releases summary of state statutes, regulations, policies and guidance
December 2009

U.S. Senate :: S. 2869 introduced December 9, 2009, as Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act
U.S. House of Representatives :: H.R. 4247 introduced December 9, 2009, as Keeping All Students Safe Act

July 2009
U.S. Secretary of Education sends letter to Chief State School Officers encouraging each state to review their current policies and guidelines regarding the use of restraints and seclusion techniques in schools.

May 2009
U.S. House of Representatives :: Committee on Education and Labor holds first-ever Congressional hearing to examine abusive and deadly uses of seclusion and restraint in U.S. schools.
May 19, 2009 Hearing Webpage :: Hearing Webcast
May 2009
Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases new report, Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers (PDF)

May 2009
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) releases new report, Unsafe In The Schoolhouse: Abuse Of Children With Disabilities (PDF), detailing 180 incidents of the use of abusive interventions against children with disabilities in school and suggesting legislative remedies.
April 2009
Congressional Research Service (CRS) (releases report new report, The Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools: The Legal Issues.
January 2009
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) releases new report: School is Not Supposed to Hurt:
Investigative Report on Abusive Restraint and Seclusion in Schools


APRAIS releases new publication, In the Name of Treatment: A Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Child from Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion (PDF), to help help parents and families learn more about the dangers of the use of aversive interventions, restraint, and seclusion, and to assist them in keeping children safe.


Leading disability organizations form the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion (APRAIS). APRAIS begins coordinated efforts for federal legislation to address the issue of the use of restrait and seclusion in the nation's schools. 


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