Right now, Congress is considering the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which would restrict the use of seclusion and restraint at schools in the United States. The widespread and dangerous use of restraining students in schools needs to be addressed.
On April 18th, 2012 my son Corey Foster was killed while playing basketball at the Leake and Watts school in Yonkers, New York - a state funded school. During the student recreational time, one of the employees of Leake and Watts approached Corey and told him to get off the basketball court so that the employees can play. Corey was upset and made a last shot at the rim and the ball bounced off and hit an employee.
According to the video tape Corey was cornered by 5 employees , that’s when Corey was slammed to the wall by a staff member. Corey was restrained by 4 to 5 employees who piled on his back and held him down. Corey complained that he could not breathe and one employee replied "if you can talk, you can breathe.”
Within moments, Corey would be dead. They killed my son with 7 minutes of restraining. They failed my son. They failed us. But the Keeping All Students Safe Act would for the first time, put in place minimum safety standards to prevent abusive seclusion and restraint in schools across the country.
In 2009, an investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found hundreds of allegations where children have been abused, and some even died, as a result of misuses of seclusion and restraint in schools. In some of the cases examined in the GAO report, ropes, duct tape, chairs with straps and bungee cords were used to restrain or isolate young children.
This bipartisan legislation would protect school children from inappropriate uses of seclusion and restraint. The bill would provide school personnel with the necessary tools, training, and support to ensure the safety of all students and school personnel.
Please join me and sign this petition to ban restraint and seclusion!