The month of August marks the first Action to Keep Students Safe Month! This is your opportunity to get involved in the fight against the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint in our nations schools. Here are the details:
Your senators and representatives will be on recess from Congress and in their home states in August and through September 6. We’re asking you to personally tell your representatives about the importance of the Act to Keep All Students Safe (HR 1893).
Meet with at least one of your three federal lawmakers or their staff members (preferably your member of the House of Representatives but it’s also important to make Senators aware of the bill) – and bring a camera or capture a clear cell phone picture.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act would protect students from ineffective and dangerous seclusion and restraint practices in schools. This bill would prohibit the use of seclusion in locked and unattended rooms or enclosures, and mechanical and chemical restraints and physical restraints that restrict breathing.
There have been hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death related to the use of restraints and seclusion methods on school children during the past two decades, according to a 2009 study by the Government Accountability Office. The cases included a 7-year-old child purportedly dying after being held face down for hours by school staff, 5-year-olds allegedly being tied to chairs with bungee cords and duct tape by their teacher and suffering broken arms and bloody noses, and a 13-year-old reportedly hanging himself in a seclusion room after prolonged confinement.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act has yet to be introduced in the Senate during this Congress. (In the House, it was introduced as HR 1893).