Students with and without disabilities have for too long faced a situation where they must fear physical violence, injury and even death as a result of aversives, restraint and seclusion at school. We believe that school should be a place of learning, not a place of fear. This action alert is to promote the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, which represents a crucial step forward for students with disabilities in particular, who are the most vulnerable to these practices, and fulfills a key provision of the Justice for All Action Network Joint Campaign Agenda, calling on Congress to pass comprehensive legislation addressing the use of restraint, seclusion and aversives. Amongst the valuable provisions of this legislation are:
* A prohibition on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools unless a student’s behavior poses an immediate danger of physical injury and less restrictive interventions would be ineffective.
* A prohibition on the use of any mechanical restraint, chemical restraint, or physical restraint that restricts air flow to the lungs, and any other aversive behavioral intervention that compromises health and safety.
* A requirement for adequate training for school personnel imposing restraint and seclusion.
* A requirement for immediate parental notification and a school debriefing following each incident of restraint or seclusion.
* A requirement for states to create a state plan that incorporates the minimum standards and report annually on the number of incidents of restraint and seclusion.