Petition Closed
Petitioning Florida Department of Education Lynn Abbott and 2 others

Protect Florida's Students Against Abuse through Aversives, Restraint and Seclusions

This action alert is designed to tell the Florida Department of Education that their proposed rule on the "Use of Reasonable Force" in the classroom is inadequate and inappropriate for the protection of students with and without disabilities in Florida.

The text of the rule can be found at:

Letter to
Florida Department of Education Lynn Abbott
Florida Department of Education Dr. Eric Smith
Florida Department of Education Bambi J. Lockman
I am writing to urge you to withdraw and revise the proposed rule "Standards for the Use of Reasonable Force" put forward by the Florida Department of Education. This rule fails to establish a strong standard to protect students. By allowing the use of force against students, both with and without disabilities, who do not pose a risk of harm against themselves or others and by failing to ban lethal practices such as prone and supine restraint, this rule places Florida's students in grave danger. By allowing the use of physical force justified on the vague standard of preventing a student from "disrupting the order of the classroom", this rule would run a serious risk of immunizing both intentional and unintentional abuse against Florida's students, particularly students with disabilities - such as those on the autism spectrum - who may have difficulty with communication. Furthermore, this rule does not establish a sufficient system of oversight and accountability even when the very lax standards it establishes are violated. We urge the Department to withdraw this rule and put forward a new one which would ban the use of restraint, seclusion and other forms of physical force except in proportionate response to prevent serious, imminent physical harm to the student or others. Furthermore, there must be additional efforts required by law to ensure accountability, oversight and prevention of these horrific practices.

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