TASH Capitol Hill Day: In Pictures

On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, TASH held a Capitol Hill Day to advocate for public policy goals that support equity, opportunity and inclusion. The day’s events included one-on-one meetings with congressional offices and a briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building. The briefing was on national efforts to restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. You can find the complete video of this briefing here on the TASH Blog.

Capitol Hill Day Unloading the Bus Photo
Barb Trader and the TASH Board Members arrive on Capitol Hill for a full day of congressional meetings and a TASH-led briefing on restraint and seclusion. In this photo: Dara Baldwin, TASH staff, Barb Trader, TASH Executive Director, and Micah Fialka-Feldman, TASH Board member.
Capitol Hill Day Unload the Bus 2 Photo
Board President Carol Quirk is followed by Board members Diane Ryndak and Lewis Jackson as they arrive on Capitol Hill.


Barb Trader Congressional Briefing Address
TASH’s Barb Trader kicks off the congressional briefing by introducing the long and difficult journey of families and advocates to protect students from abusive restraint and seclusion practices. She underscored the importance of supporting existing House legislation to establish a federal baseline of protections.


Standing Room Only Photo
This photo, taken at the beginning of TASH’s congressional briefing, shows a full room of congressional staff and advocates. By briefing’s end, even standing room was hard to come by.


Barb Intros Panel Photo
Barb Trader introduces the stellar panel of advocates and experts who will speak during the briefing. Left to right: Phyllis Musumeci, Families Against Restraint and Seclusion; Joan Gillece, SAMHSA; Michael Remus, Deer Valley Unified School District; Linda Bambara, Lehigh University; and Janice LeBel, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.


Phyllis Addressing Room Photo
Phyllis Musumeci, Founder of Families Against Restraint and Seclusion, tells the story of her son, Christian, who was restrained 89 times during a 14 month period without her knowledge. Once a happy, healthy boy, Christian became increasingly detached, sad and aggressive from the abuse. Phyllis says legal guidelines would allow other parents to know what is happening in school and offer protection of children like Christian.


Michael Addressing Room Photo
Michael Remus, Director of Student Support Services for the Deer Valley Unified School District in Arizona, discusses how his district successfully changed the culture, implemented standards and training and eliminated the use of restraint and seclusion practices.


Linda Addressing Room Photo
Linda Bambara, Professor at Lehigh University College of Education, says the notion that restraint and seclusion provides a benefit to any child is misguided, and that positive supports can and ought to be instituted in schools. She notes a story of a school that went from more than 1,000 instances of restraint and seclusion a year to zero instances. Positive reform is not an unattainable goal.


Janice Addressing Room Photo
Janice LeBel, Director of Program Management for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Division, introduces the business case for eliminating restraint and seclusion. She notes that restraint and seclusion drive up costs linked to staff, reporting, medical leave and more. She also says research has shown the cost associated with the maltreatment to children can amount to more than $6 million throughout the span of a child’s education.


Q & A Photo 1
The briefing concluded with a question and answer period. A Fairfax, Va., man discusses how, even in one of America’s top school districts, the system is failing to properly support all children.


Q & A Photo 2
TASH Board member Ralph Edwards addresses the disparities in the education system for students with disabilities from diverse communities. The resulting discussion included an announcement that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights is currently conducting research in this area. A report is due out in late 2011.


Q & A Photo 3
A mother whose son was repeatedly subjected to restraint in school shares her story and the effort she went through to promote positive support in school.


Q & A Photo 4
An attendee asks the panelists what is being done in university settings to inform the next generation of special educators on positive behavioral interventions and supports.