Barb Trader on Mississippi’s Restraint & Seclusion Policy

Miss Testimony
From left to right: Charles Irvin, Barb Trader, L. Rene Hardwick, Blake Feldman

On October 22, 2015, TASH’s executive director, Barb Trader, joined the Mississippi Department of Education for a public testimony on its restraint and seclusion policy.

Before this year, Mississippi was one of five states that did not have a statewide policy or voluntary guidelines governing how schools use restraint and seclusion as punishment—if at all. In June of 2015, the Mississippi Department of Education drafted a restraint and seclusion policy.

On October 22nd, mothers, advocates and leaders of nonprofit organizations, such as ACLU, joined together to give input about how to strengthen the proposed policy. They suggested eliminating seclusion, or regulating the practices, as well as standardizing certified training for all schools if restraint is necessary. Barb Trader added the following:

In 1990, the nation’s leading behavioral researchers, many of which were TASH members, first called for the elimination of aversive behavioral interventions, or those which cause pain, humiliation or discomfort, because they were no longer ethically tolerable for two simple reasons:

  1. They cause pain and can be dangerous, and moreover,
  2. They do not work – in fact, they increase disruptive behavior.

Read Barb’s full testimony.