Smiling child

National Disability Rights Network Report on Seclusion & Restraint in Schools

P&As have been advocating for students and their families on education issues for over thirty years, a period of unprecedented change and opportunity for children with disabilities as fewer and fewer are relegated to institutions or special facilities. After years of struggle by parents and advocates, the educational rights of children with disabilities was, at least by law, firmly established in 1978 with implementation of the Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA), the precursor to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This promise of a free, appropriate, and public education has expanded the opportunities for full inclusion of students with disabilities. Yet today, many parents still face major challenges in obtaining full access to the education system their children are entitled to.

Unfortunately, a disturbing trend is emerging that threatens to deny these students the full and safe inclusion in the education system so vital to their success as adults in our society. This epidemic is not a failure of the principles of IDEA, it is not the failure of parents, and it is certainly not a failure of students with disabilities. It is a failure of the education system – federal, state, and local – to address the needs of students with disabilities.

This report identifies the abusive use of restraint or seclusion nationwide by school administrators, teachers, and auxiliary personnel, which has resulted in injury and trauma and, in far too many cases, death to children with disabilities.

Click here to read the full report: NDRN Seclusion & Restraint Report