TASH to Hold Congressional Briefing on Restraint & Seclusion


National Efforts to Restrict the Use of
Restraint & Seclusion Practices in Schools

How you can help:   

1. Please attend if you are in the Washington, D.C., area. RSVP to Dara Baldwin at dbaldwin@tash.org   

2. Spread the word by downloading the congressional briefing flyer and sharing this important announcement with friends, family, colleagues and members of the media   

Download the Congressional Briefing Flyer Here   

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
12-1:30 p.m. ET
B-338 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Lunch will be provided   

TASH welcomes all congressional leaders, legislative staff, advocates, educators and families to participate in this important briefing on national efforts to restrict the use of restraint, seclusion and aversive interventions in school settings. This critically important educational briefing will be held on Tuesday, June 28, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET in Room B-338 Rayburn House Office Building.   

TASH is the national convener of the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion, a national collaboration of 21 national education, research and advocacy organizations. Established in 2004, ARPAIS seeks to protect children with significant disabilities who exhibit challenging behaviors from abuse in schools, treatment programs and residential facilities.   

Children are injured and traumatized by restraint, seclusion and aversive interventions every day in schools across the United States. In January 2009, the National Disability Rights Network issued a report detailing the harmful use of these interventions in more than two-thirds of states, involving public and private school children as young as three years old.   

In response, the Government Accountability Office conducted an investigation finding that federal law does not currently exist that regulates the use of these interventions in schools and that state laws vary widely if they exist at all. In fact, many states have no laws regulating restraint and seclusion in schools. Furthermore, there are no requirements for schools to report cases where seclusion and restraint is used, or how often on one child. Because of this lack of transparency and monitoring, thousands of students are repeatedly abused within their school systems every year through these archaic techniques and rarely do we as the American public find out about it until it is too late and the child is irreparably harmed or even killed.   

The vast majority of education and mental health professionals agree that these techniques are not therapeutic, evidence-based practices. There currently exists no literature that supports the use of seclusion and restraint practices on children. To address this major public policy concern and threat to students’ safety, U.S. Representatives George Miller, D-Calif., and Gregg Harper, R-Miss., recently reintroduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (H.R. 1381), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the 111th Congress by widespread bipartisan support.   

To learn more about the dangers of seclusion and restraint in schools, successful strategies for helping schools transition into safe schools that no longer use seclusion and restraint practices, and understand the merits of current public policy efforts to reduce the use of these dangerous practices, please join us for the upcoming congressional briefing on June 28. Since lunch will be provided, the courtesy of an RSVP is requested (please email Dara Baldwin at dbaldwin@tash.org).   

Speakers include   

Barb Trader, Executive Director, TASH
Joan Gillece, Project Director, SAMHSA’s Promoting Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint through Trauma-Informed Practices
Michael Remus, Director of Student Support Services, Deer Valley Unified School District
Linda Bambara, Professor, Lehigh University College of Education
Janice LeBel, Director of Program Management, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Child & Adolescent Division
Phyllis Musumeci, Founder, Families Against Restraint and Seclusion   

Co-Hosts of the Briefing include SAMHSA’s Promoting Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint through Trauma-Informed Practices, National Down Syndrome Society, National Autism Association, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and Families Against Restraint and Seclusion   

Supporting Organizations – 2011 APRAIS Partners  


The Arc of the United States
Respect ABILITY Law Center
National Fragile X Foundation
National Down Syndrome Society
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Family Alliance to Stop Abuse and Neglect
Families Against Restraint and Seclusion
Epilepsy Foundation
Council on Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autism Society
Autism National Committee
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
American Association of People with Disabilities   

More information about APRAIS can be found here.