Fwd: Over 150 Organizations Support Keeping All Students Safe Act ( restraint/ seclusion bills)
- Keep the support for this bill coming - call, email, share, and encourage local, state, and national organizations to sign on to the letter! We need to protect all schoolchildren from the abuses of restraint & seclusion!Sandy Alperstein, IllinoisVolunteer Co-Webmaster, Our Children Left Behind (http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com) (special education advocacy volunteers on a national level); Special Kids, Special Families (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/specialkidsspecialfamilies) (volunteers providing support, education, and advocacy for families with special needs in the NW suburban Chicago area)-----Original Message-----
From: Jess Butler <jessicabutler100@...>
To: jessicabutler2 <jessicabutler2@...>
Sent: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 7:09 am
Subject: Over 150 Organizations Support Keeping All Students Safe Act ( restraint/ seclusion bills)
Thank you very much for supporting the two Keeping All Students Safe Act bills, H.R. 1381 and S.2020. These bills will protect schoolchildren from dangerous restraint and seclusion. We received over 150 national, state, and local organizations in support of the two bills! The letter was one of two letters Senator Harkin highlit during his opening statement at the restraint/seclusion hearing and his staff thanked all of us for it.
We will continue to collect more sign-ons and to update the lists. We have over 170 organizations and it would be great to get 250!!! There are 21 states represented on the Senate committee, and building support in a number of them is crucial to our efforts. Please feel free to send the letter to other groups and organizations and ask them to sign on. They can email me or sign on through this link http://svy.mk/LtrRestraSe (this helps us by allowing us to automatically download the information into an Excel spreadsheet).
I am attaching the letters to the Senate and House Chair and Ranking Members for your records. I have zipped the two files together into one for ease in emailing.
Please feel free to share with others.
Thank you very much for your sign-on. The full letter and list is below, as well.
Congressional Affairs Coordinator
Autism National Committee
22 years of advocating for people with autism and related disabilities
Re: Over 150 National, State, and Local Organizations Ask Congress to Pass the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S.2020/H.R. 1381)
We, the undersigned, believe it is time for a national policy addressing restraint and seclusion in our schools for all children. In 2009, a Government Accountability Office study found children have been injured, traumatized, and even killed through restraint and seclusion in schools. In March 2012, data released by the Department of Education showed that nearly 40,000 students were physically restrained during the 2009-10 school year; 70% of whom were students with disabilities. The data also showed that these practices are disproportionately used upon minority students.
There have been numerous news reports of students harmed by restraints and seclusion. Less than 1/3 of states restrict restraint and seclusion use to emergencies involving an imminent risk of physical harm. It is important that use of restraint and seclusion be limited to these emergencies. While federal law protects children and adults from the use of restraints and seclusion in hospitals, no similar federal laws exist to protect children in schools. We urge Congress to pass the Keeping All Students Safe Act bills (S.2020 and H.R. 1381), and create minimum restraint/seclusion standards in schools that will protect all children.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act will promote a shift toward preventing problematic behavior through the use of de-escalation techniques, conflict management and evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports. This shift will help school personnel understand the needs of their students and safely address the source of challenging behaviors – a better result for everyone in the classroom. In many cases, the use of positive supports and interventions greatly diminishes and even eliminates the need to use restraint and seclusion. For example, the Centennial School in Pennsylvania, which serves children in 35 school districts, has cut the use of restraint and seclusion from well over 1,000 occurrences per year to less than ten through the use of positive supports. Reports and studies have also shown that students and staff are safer when positive interventions and supports, rather than restraint and seclusion, are used in schools. Worker's Compensation costs even decrease significantly.
S. 2020 and H.R. 1381 will protect all children in school. They will ensure that restraints are used only in emergencies posing an imminent threat of physical danger. If less restrictive and dangerous measures like de-escalation, conflict management, and positive behavioral supports will prevent the threat, the bills will require that they be used. The bills will provide similar protections from seclusion. They will require prompt parental notification. They will ban the use of restraints that impede breathing or harm children or staff. The bills will ensure that staff are properly trained in evidence-based methods to minimize the use of restraint and seclusion and to protect children and staff.
We ask Congress to pass the Keeping All Students Safe Act and make our schools safer for students and staff. America needs more than the current patchwork of state laws to ensure that every child is afforded protection.
For more information about this letter, please contact Jessica Butler, Congressional Affairs Coordinator, Autism National Committee, jessica@... (www.autcom.org)
National OrganizationsAdvocacy InstituteAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAmerican Association on Health and DisabilityAmerican Psychiatric AssociationAmerican Psychiatric Nurses AssociationAssociation on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD)Autism National CommitteeAutism Society of AmericaBazelon Center for Mental Health LawBoat People SOS, Inc.Center for Law and EducationCherab FoundationConference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the DeafCouncil of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA)CPS InitiativeDepression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)Disability Rights Legal CenterFamilies Against Restraint and SeclusionGay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)Gray PanthersHigher Education Consortium on Special EducationLearning Disabilities Association of AmericaMental Health AmericaNational Association for Children's Behavioral HealthNational Association of Rural Mental HealthNational Association of State Mental Health Program DirectorsNational Autism AssociationNational Disability Rights NetworkNational Down Syndrome CongressNational Federation of Families for Children’s Mental HealthNational Fragile X FoundationNational Organization for Women FoundationNational Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND)OurChildrenLeftBehind.ComParents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, Inc.Pediatric Stroke Network, Inc.Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA)Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)Southern Poverty Law CenterSpeech & Language Disorders in ChildrenTeacher Education Division of the Council on Exceptional ChildrenThe Arc of the United StatesThe National Alliance on Mental IllnessThe National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination Inc. (INCIID Inc.)Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.Family Network on DisabilitiesState Organizations by StateDown Syndrome Society of Mobile CountyALArea Board XIIICACalifornia Safe SchoolsCACAPCA (California Association for Parent-Child Advocacy)CAEducate. Advocate.CAFamilies For Early Autism TreatmentCAHope PTACAIndependent Living Resource Center, Inc.CALearning Rights Law CenterCAParents Advocating TogetherCAWest Los Angeles Trauma and Crime Victim CenterCAColorado Cross Disability CoalitionCOCommunity LinkCOMental Health America of ColoradoCOThe Arc of the Pikes Peak RegionCOAdvocates for Justice and EducationDCdisAbility Solutions for Independent LivingFLReveresco ABA TherapyFLApraxia in Metro AtlantaGAAutism Society Georgia ChapterGAGeorgia Families Against Restraint and SeclusionGAGwinnett SToPPGALiving Independence for Everyone (LIFE), Inc.GAParent to Parent of GeorgiaGAParent to Parent of GeorgiaGAHawai'i Parents Special Education Advisory Council (HIP-SEAC)HIThe Arc of IowaIATri State Down Syndrome NetworkIAAccess LivingILIllinois Children’s Mental Health PartnershipILLIFE Center for Independent LivingIlMcHenry County Mental Health BoardILMental Health Summit of IllinoisILMothers on a Mission, Inc.ILNorthwestern IL Center for Independent LivingILSpecial Kids, Special FamiliesILThe Arc of IndianaINDisability Rights Center of KansasKSKentucky Protection & AdvocacyKYThe Arc of KentuckyKYDisability Law Center (of Massachusetts)MAIndependent Living Center of the North Shore & Cape Ann, Inc.MANortheast Independent Living Program IncMAStavros Center for Independent Living, Inc.MALDA of St. Mary's CountyMDMaryland Coalition for Inclusive EducationMDBenzieAdvocacy Rights CouncilMIMichigan Alliance for Special EducationMIMichigan Association of Community Mental Health BoardsMIMichigan Developmental Disabilities CouncilMIMichigan Disability Rights CoalitionMIMichigan Protection and Advocacy Services Inc.MIOakland County Community Mental Health AuthorityMIThe Arc MichiganMIThe Respect ABILITY Law CenterMIWoodlands Behavioral Healthcare NetworkMIMinnesota Governor's Council on Developmental DisabilitiesMNCoastal Women for ChangeMSDisability Rights MississippiMSJust Advocacy of MississippiMSMississippi Coalition for Citizens with DisabilitiesMSMississippi Human Service AgendaMSNollie Jenkins Family Center, Inc.MSParents United TogetherMSADAPT MontanaMTParents, Let's Unite for Kids - PLUKMTCouncil for Children's RightsNCDisability Rights North CarolinaNCGaston Residential Services, Inc.NCMonarch/The Arc of Stanly CountyNCPiedmont Down Syndrome Support NetworkNCTammy Lynn Center for Developmental DisabilitiesNCThe Arc of North CarolinaNCNorth Carolina School Social Work AssociationNCADAPT Nebraska