Ask Superintendent Ayala and Governor Pritzker to End Prone Restraints in Illinois Schools
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There is no data that indicates seclusion and restraint are effective in changing behavior; conversely, research indicates that restraint and seclusion can actually increase the behaviors that staff are trying to control.
Prone restraints can be deadly, as was the case for Max Benson, George Floyd, and Cornelius Frederick.
Why do we continue this dangerous and potentially lethal practice when there is no evidence demonstrating its effectiveness in changing behavior? Why does this continue to be legal when there is documentation of injuries, trauma, and death because of these practices?
There are alternatives to seclusion and restraint that drastically reduce the number of injuries to students and staff while increasing the attainment of student goals and teacher satisfaction. These methods require a change in mindset from focusing on the behavior to focusing on why the behavior is occurring and creating a low-arousal, safe environment for learners.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2014 guidance states,
Young people bring their experiences of trauma into the school systems, often interfering with their school success. […] The public institutions and service systems that are intended to provide services and supports to individuals are often themselves trauma-inducing. The use of coercive practices, such as seclusion and restraints…can be re-traumatizing for individuals who already enter these systems with significant histories of trauma. A trauma-informed approach and collaborative problem solving can prevent seclusion and restraint.
Further exploration of the alternatives to seclusion and restraint can be found in the complementary Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint article, “End Restraint, Embrace Alternatives in Illinois Public Schools.”
A Call to Action to Ban Prone Restraint
It is time to mount a nationwide campaign to petition the Illinois State Board of Education to support the ban of prone restraint use on Illinois public school students, a traumatic and potentially-lethal practice which disproportionately affects disabled people and people of color.
The children of Illinois need your voices in order to be safe in their classrooms. Talk to your friends and families about the harms done by current practices like prone restraint and seclusion. Ask schools questions about their specific policies regarding restraint and seclusion. Spread the word and help keep children safe in school. Together, we can change practices and save lives.
For more information, view this article on NeuroClastic's website.
Organizations and Influencers Supporting the Ban of Prone Restraints in Illinois Public Schools:
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint
International Coalition Against Restraint and Seclusion
Black Lives Matter 757
The Autistic OT
Reach Every Voice
Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network
If you are an organization, political figure, or other notable figure, please sign the petition and then contact Jennifer Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list of organizations and influencers.
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