February 26, 2019•Advocacy Matters
Listen to Advocacy Matters February 26, 2019: Seclusion and Restraint in Schools
Disability Matters Radio Show with Joyce Bender:
February 26, 2019
Seclusion and Restraint in K-12
On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the U.S. House of Representative Committee on Education and Labor will hold a hearing on seclusion and restraint in our K-12 school systems. There has not been a congressional hearing to examine seclusion and restraint in our schools for the last 7 years.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania hopes the hearing will uncover the high rate of restraint and seclusion used on students with disabilities. We also hope the hearing will result in legislation that will establish standard and limits on the use of restraint and seclusion interventions in school settings.
The U.S. Department of Education own data shows that students with disabilities make up 12% of all enrolled students in schools; however, students with disabilities make up 71% of all students restrained and 66% of all students secluded.
These numbers are shocking, harmful to the students, and unnecessary. Even in our own Protection and Advocacy office at Disability Rights Pennsylvania, we know that less restrictive alternatives are available if schools would just follow the Individualized Education Plans for students.
This congress, special education advocates will work with the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee to develop a bill called the Keeping All Students Safe Act. This is legislation designed to protect children from harmful seclusion and restrain and provide training resources to school districts. This is important because some states have standards on seclusion and restraint while others have none or have policies that lack reporting and training of school personnel.
33 national organizations have signed a letter to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education to support continued efforts to negotiate a bill on Keeping All Students Safe Act. These organizations include the ACLU, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Center for Public Representation, National Disability Rights Network, the National PTA, The Arc, and others.
#AdvocacyMatters. It matters when parents are their child’s best advocate and call out restraint and seclusion. It matters to us special education advocates to push Congress to address the high rates of seclusion and restraint on students with disabilities.
Check our website at www.disabilityrightspa.org and find links to the hearing on Wednesday and other useful information about Keeping All Students Safe Act. That’s www.disabilityrightspa.org.
Subcommittee Hearing and Witness List
Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
Classrooms in Crisis: Examining the Inappropriate Use of Seclusion and Restraint Practices”
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
2175 Rayburn House Office Building
Letter of support from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
National Disability Rights Network Report: School is Not Supposed to Hurt: Update on Progress in 2009