RESTRAINT & SECLUSION UPDATE: BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
- This information is courtesy of Jessica Butler, long-time advocate with Congress on disability matters and parent of a special needs child:On December 9, Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference introduced the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (H.R. 4247). Senator Chris Dodd introduced a companion bill, S. 2860. In the Wrightslaw article "Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act: What Does It Mean For Children with Disabilities?" Jessica Butler analyzes the bill and its impact on students with disabilities, discussing the bill's strengths, and areas for improvement.
The bill will prevent the use of mechanical and chemical restraints, aversives that threaten health and safety, and the use of physical restraint and locked seclusion except when there is an imminent danger of physical injury. It also bans physical restraints that impede breathing. The bill does limit how it defines physical restraint so it does not apply when the arms, legs, and head are free to move. It also does not apply to situations in which a child is placed in unlocked seclusion (such as when the door is held shut or blocked with furniture, or due to disability or age, a child cannot exit). The bill will establish minimum state standards; roughly half of the states provide little or no protection against restraint/seclusion.
The link to the Wrightslaw article is here:
and in pdf format: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/restraint.hr4247.butler.pdfSandy, Illinois (alpy2@...)
Volunteer Co-Webmaster, Our Children Left Behind (http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com) (IDEA & NCLB reauthorization)