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Friday, April 17, 2015

Federal Legislation on Restraint and Seclusion

An April 15 news release from Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT):
Today, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee passed, on a bipartisan basis, an amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Murphy’s amendment, which would require states to establish policies to prevent the unnecessary use of seclusion and restraint for disciplinary purposes in schools, will be included in the revised 2015 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“The facts tell us that locking kids up in padded rooms and limiting their movement with tape or rope hurts our children instead of helping them,” said Murphy. “These horrific practices cause physical and psychological trauma not only to these kids, but also to their peers, and there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of children. Instead of using these ineffective methods to change a child’s behavior, we should be developing support services for schools and educators that care for kids in a compassionate way, and I’m relieved that my colleagues agree. This is a big step forward towards improvement and accountability in our schools, and will ensure that all students receive the positive support they need to reach their full potential.”