House Reintroduces Keeping All Students Safe Act
NDRN Calls for Passage
WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network applauded the reintroduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, H.R. 1381. The legislation, which passed in the House last year but was unable to clear the Senate, addresses the use of restraint and seclusion on children in schools.
“A year has gone by since Congress failed to pass this needed legislation and more children have been abused through restraint and seclusion,” said Curt Decker, NDRN’s executive director. “Our member agencies have investigated instances in which kids as young as 5 years old have been confined, tied up, pinned down, and battered through the use of restraint and seclusion.”
As documented in a report released by NDRN entitled School is Not Supposed to Hurt, a disturbing nationwide trend of the use of restraint and seclusion has emerged, denying students full and safe inclusion in the nation’s education system. NDRN’s report was the catalyst for a Government Accountability Office investigation that led the House to take action.
The legislation addresses many of the problems documented in NDRN’s report: Inconsistent (and sometimes non-existent) standards in many states on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools; Parents and guardians not being informed of the use of restraint and seclusion on their children; Use of inherently dangerous restraint and seclusion techniques with little to no training or monitoring; Use of restraint and seclusion in situations that clearly do not call for the use of such extreme techniques (i.e. blowing bubbles in milk, fidgeting in a chair), and the lack of reporting of such incidents to help the proper authorities identify where problems may exist that could be addressed with additional training and technical assistance.
“Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Gregg Harper (R-MS) should be commended for taking action on this bipartisan legislation to end the abusive use of restraint and seclusion in schools,” added Decker. “We urge the House to pass this bill quickly.”