Email your two Senators and Congressional Representative and ask them to cosponsor the Keeping all Students Safe Act (S. 2020 & H.R. 1381).
These bills will protect children nationwide from restraint and seclusion in schools. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death from restraint and seclusion in school. They included a young teen who hanged himself in a seclusion room while a teacher sat outside and a 7 year old who was restrained face down and died because she could not breathe. Most of the students in the GAO study had disabilities.
The Senate bill, S. 2020, was introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (Chair, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee). The House bill, H.R. 1381, was introduced by Congressman George Miller (Ranking Member, House Education and Workforce Committee). The bills will ban physical restraint except in emergency situations when there is an immediate threat of physical harm. Only 14 states limit the use of restraints to physical safety emergencies today. Both bills protect children from dangerous seclusion. The bills also ban restraints that interfere with breathing and mechanical and chemical restraints. The bills require schools to notify parents on the same day that the technique is used. Too many parents never find out what happened to their child.
Please email your two Senators and Congressional Representative and ask them to COSPONSOR the Keeping All Students Safe Act. The bills need cosponsors to move forward. Ask your friends, family members, fellow advocates, and colleagues to send emails.
HOW TO SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS
SENATE. You can email your Senators through their Senate website forms. Go to http://1.usa.gov/Senat. You can find your two Senators by choosing your state at the top.HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. You can find your Representative and send an email through the House website, http://1.usa.gov/HouseWrit. You will need your zip code.
SAMPLE EMAIL MESSAGE YOU CAN SEND
Here is a sample email you can send. Feel free to change it as you like. If your child, a family member, or a friend was restrained or secluded, please include that in your email, and tell their story briefly, if you are comfortable. Please also email even if you have not been personally affected. Emails are needed from as many people as possible to show support!
Please COSPONSOR the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2020 in the Senate and H.R. 1381 in the House of Representatives). The bill will create minimum standards to protect all children nationwide from abusive restraint and seclusion. (Special instructions if your child/family member/friend was restrained or secluded: tell their story if you feel comfortable. Or just add a short sentence to say it happened to your child/someone you know. Even if you do not have a story or do not want to share one, please email your Members of Congress to ask them to cosponsor the bill.)
The Keeping All Students Safe Act will ban physical restraint except in emergency situations when there is an immediate threat of physical danger to a person. Only 14 states require this today. Both bills protect children from dangerous seclusion, where they are locked in a room or forced into a room where the door is otherwise blocked. Far too often, children have been restrained or secluded for not doing assignments, being noisy, behavioral control, discipline, or punishment. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death from restraint and seclusion in school. They included a young teen who hanged himself in a seclusion room while a teacher sat outside and a 7 year old who was restrained face down and died because she could not breathe. The GAO documented at least 20 stories of children who died from restraint. Other children suffered injuries, including broken bones and bloody noses, or had post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The bills will require schools to notify parents on the same day if a child has been subjected to the techniques, and to follow up in writing within 24 hours. Too many parents never find out what happened; 27 states have no parental notification requirements at all, and others have no deadlines. Parents need to know quickly, so they can watch for concussions, hidden internal injuries, and trauma. The bills ban life-threatening restraints, such as those that interfere with breathing. They ban chemical and mechanical restraint, like locking children into devices and chairs, and tying and duct-taping them to furniture. The bills require the collection of data to improve decision-making and provide the public with information. Neither bill prevents schools from using time out, where staff can work with a child to calm him/her in a quieter space together.
While some states have laws protecting children, many do not, and others are not very strong. Please COSPONSOR THE KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT, S. 2020 and H.R. 1381, to ensure that all children nationwide are protected from these abuses.
Your name here
-- Keeping All Students Safe Act – Senate (S. 2020)
-- Keeping All Students Safe Act – House (H.R. 1381)
-- Senate Bill Description from Senator Harkin:
-- House Bill Description from Representative Miller:
--GAO study describing the dangers of restraint/seclusion: