Dear Parents and Advocates, Please ask your Florida Senator and Florida House Representative to Co-sponsor restraint and seclusion bills - Senate Bill S144 and House Bill H1467.
S144 and HB1467 will set long-overdue standards to protect children in Florida schools from physical and psychological harm and ensure a safe learning environment for teachers and students alike.
Some of the very important highlights of the bills are the following"
- Prohibit the very dangerous prone restraint
- Prohibit supine restraint
- Prohibit mechanical restraint
- Prohibit seclusion
Families Against Restraint and Seclusion
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Florida Senator and Florida House Representative.
As a parent/family member or friend of a child with a disability, I am reaching out to you today to urge your support and and ask you to please co-sponsor Senate Bill S144 and House Bill H1467. These much needed bills will protect our children with disabilities from harmful restraint and seclusion practices in schools and will ensure their safety in the education system. Families like mine need a Florida law to provide clear direction to the 67 Florida school districts to ensure that children are not subjected to abusive practices in educational settings.
Children are injured and traumatized by restraint, seclusion and aversive interventions every day in schools across the state of Florida. Many of our children cannot speak or have poor expressive communication and use behaviors has a way to communicate to others to get their needs and wants met. Many of our children are being restrained and put in seclusion for non compliance issues. In January 2009, the National Disability Rights Network issued a report detailing the harmful use of these interventions in more than two-thirds of states, involving public and private school children as young as three years old. Because of the lack of laws thousands of students are repeatedly abused within their school systems every year through these archaic techniques.
The vast majority of education and mental health professionals agree that these techniques are not therapeutic, evidence-based practices. There currently exists no literature that supports the use of restraint and seclusion practices on children with disabilities but there is information available about how harmful these archaic practices can be.
If you don't think this is a problem, consider that Statewide there were 10,604 incidents of restraint in the 2010/2011 school year, 459 in Broward County. 44% of all restraints were for Pre-K through 3rd graders. Statewide over 200 restraints were for more than an hour, many were for several hours. In Broward restraint can mean prone restraint, that is where two or more adults take a student face down to the floor and hold him or her immobile. Currently seclusion practices are not tracked.
My child deserves a safe educational environment, and schools should be encouraged to use evidence-based practices that do not jeopardize the health and safety of a child. Please Consider Co-sponsoring Senate Bill S144 or House Bill H1467.
Anna Moore started this petition with a single signature, and now has 247 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.