Special Educators’ Use of Restraints, Seclusion Topic of Senate Hearing
I’ve blogged about the unnecessary and inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion a number of times, and the need for federal regulations that prohibit their inappropriate use. Now there is an important hearing coming up this Thursday in the Senate. Nirvi Shah reports:
Educators’ use of restraints, seclusion, and alternative strategies for managing disruptive student behaviors are scheduled to be the focus of a first-of-its-kind hearing Thursday before the Senate education committee.
The hearing, “Beyond Seclusion and Restraint: Creating Positive Learning Environments for All Students,” will mark the first time the issue has an airing in that chamber. Late last year, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chair of the committee, sponsored a bill that would sharply restrict or ban the use of restraints and seclusion, which have come under fire because of multiple reports of students getting injured or dying as a result of such actions. Similar legislation in the House of Representatives was passed more than two years ago and has been reintroduced, but since then, both bills have stalled.
Read more on Education Week.
I’m not sure if the hearing will be televised, but you can check C-SPAN to see. But do take a moment now and check to see if your Senator is on the committee. If s/he is, contact them to tell them that you want the Senate to pass a bill that will protect the safety and dignity of children with disabilities and that educating the educators to: (1) recognize behavioral symptoms of disabilities, (2) use functional behavioral assessments to analyze problems, and (3) provide positive behavior supports will reduce the use of aversive techniques significantly. Clicking on the link to your Senator’s name will take you to their Senate home page with information on how to contact them.