The [IEP] exception gives the techniques "a false sense of legitimacy," said Denise Marshall, the executive director of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates in Towson, Md. The Council For Exceptional Children, a professional organization of teachers, administrators, and parents in Arlington, Va., also opposes the bill.
But an organization that played a key role in bringing attention to injuries and deaths caused by restraint and seclusion has come out in favor of the bill, saying that it is imperfect but better than no national prohibition at all."We made a political calculation after surveying our states," said Curtis L. Decker, the executive director of the National Disability Rights Network in Washington. The organization's report last year on abusive restraints and seclusion was the genesis of the most recent federal efforts to address the practice.
"If this bill dies, I doubt we're going to see any movement on this for years to come," Mr. Decker said.
The strongly held differences in opinion, plus the change in the political make-up of Congress following this month's elections, makes the future uncertain for a federal ban.
Even if the measure were to pass in the Senate unchanged, it would still have to be reconciled with a more-restrictive House bill on restraints and seclusion that passed in March. The House bill bans restraints and seclusion from being considered as an intervention in a student's IEP.
An earlier version of the Senate bill also had such a ban. But that bill was withdrawn and a new bill submitted in September, when Mr. Burr was added as a co-sponsor.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Seclusion and Restraint: Divisions
At Education Week, an update on federal legislation to curb seclusion and restraint: