Senate Holds Restraint and Seclusion Hearing

TASH will be attending a hearing today, July 12, as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee considers legislation to prevent restraint and seclusion abuse in U.S. schools. The topic of this Senate HELP hearing is Beyond Seclusion and Restraint: Creating Positive Learning Environments for All Students. The hearing will be held at 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, at 10:30 a.m.

The witness list of this hearing includes:

Daniel Crimmins, Director, Center for Leadership in Disability, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga.

Cyndi Pitonyak, Coordinator of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Montgomery County Public Schools, Christiansburg, Va.

Michael George, Director, Centennial School, Bethlehem, Penn.

Deborah Jackson, Parent, Easton, Penn.

The following is a list of materials TASH will be providing during the hearing. Please download and share these important resources:

1) Letter of support for The Keeping All Students Safe Act from the APRAIS coalition – view/download

2) A survey of restraint and seclusion incidents published in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, the TASH journalview/download

3) TASH’s response to the American Association of School Administrators report that supported the use of restraint and seclusion in schools – view/download

4) Summary of the findings from the Department of Education on education inequities - view/download

5) TASH’s report on The Cost of Waiting to implement federal policy that prevents restraint and seclusion – view/download

6) Dept. of Health and Human Services report on the business case for preventing restraint and seclusion – view/download

The lack of protections for all students limiting the use of aversive behavioral strategies, restraint and seclusion has proven to be a disastrous missing component of our national education policy for children and parents.  It is time to align federal education policy with all other federal policy related to human services and for the nation’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens.

The Keeping All Students Safe Act, S. 2020, represents a culmination of years of advocacy against abusive behavioral interventions that dehumanize and harm students. The time to pass this bill is now – we can no longer endure harm to vulnerable children as a result of abusive practices when decades of research equip education professionals with positive, safe and effective alternatives.

This is a great time to ask your Senators to co-sponsor S. 2020 and your Representative to co-sponsor HR 1381 (which has similar provisions) by visiting www.senate.gov and www.house.gov and entering your ZIP code, which links you to the correct e-mail address. You can find additional resources here.

Simply write “Please co-sponsor S. 2020” or “Please co-sponsor HR 1381” and, if you can take the time, include a brief paragraph about yourself and why you care about this issue.

Thank you.

-TASH

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