Let's put an end to inappropriate seclusion and restraint - Sign the White House petition

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Many of you will remember the Morning Zen piece we did on Bill Lichtenstein, parent of a beautiful daughter who experienced the horror of the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint ("His name is Bill - and he is fighting against seclusion and restraint"). After Bill wrote an article about his experience for the New York Times and we featured the story on the CMHNetwork website, he was, and continues to be, flooded with emails from parents who have had similar experiences. In talking with Bill I shared with him the dilemma parents face about speaking out for fear of reprisal from school boards - much like what happened to him when the Times article hit the streets. As the stories of heartache continued to mount, Bill called me and said, "We've got to do something to help these kids and parents."

So we will. And so must you. We are working on several ideas for how the Network can support safe forums for parents to share their stories as well as opportunities to facilitate constructive dialogue among parents, teachers, administrators and mental health professionals about how to best address this complicated issue. As a first step, thanks to the initiative of Bill Lichtenstein, we are encouraging you to sign this White House petition asking President Obama to support the Keep All Students Safe Act. We need 25,000 signatures by February 11, 2013 to receive a formal White House response. Go to http://BIT.LY/kidspetition to sign the petition. Then post a link to this message on your Facebook page (or whatever social media platform you may use) and share this message with your friends and colleagues.

One more thing - if you need further convincing, read the long list of parent testimony, news reports from across the nation, and congressional efforts to address seclusion and restraint below.

 Why should you do this? Here are just a few examples of notes we've gotten from parents:

This is a no-brainer folks, whether you are a parent, young adult who has experienced the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint, teacher, therapist, administrator or concerned community member - sign the petition so that we can get the attention of the White House this important issue deserves.

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