In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the use of restraint and seclusion.
The use of non-emergency restraint and seclusion practices will no longer be allowed in Michigan schools under legislation signed today by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
“By putting an end to non-emergency restraint and seclusion in our schools, we are showing kids that their safety and their academics matter to us,” Calley said. “This legislation is a great safeguard for our kids that will help them grow and thrive instead of the archaic and barbaric practices of the past that made school an unsafe place for children.”
Calley signed the bills at an inclusion rally in Troy where he was joined by nearly 300 special education advocates.
House Bills 5409-5417 resulted from recommendations of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Special Education Reform Task Force that was chaired by Calley. The nine-bill bipartisan package was sponsored by state Reps. Frank Liberati, Christine Greig, Amanda Price, Hank Vaupel, Jim Tedder and Kurt Heise.
Under the legislation, restraint and seclusion practices may only be used if a child is a danger to themselves or others. The bills also require any use of restraint and seclusion to be reported both to the parents and the Michigan Department of Education, as well as requiring additional training for school personnel on how to handle behavioral situations.
The legislation codifies the current State Board of Education policy regarding appropriate usage of restraint and seclusion practices into law.
The bills are now Public Acts 394-402 of 2016.
Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.
For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.