Monday, June 25, 2012

Senate To Revisit School Restraint, Seclusion

Lawmakers are set to consider the use of restraint and seclusion in the nation’s classrooms this week, rekindling efforts to establish first-ever federal rules governing the practices.
The topic is scheduled to be front and center Thursday at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The issue has been a hotbed for disability advocates since 2009 when an advocacy group report uncovered widespread abuse and even deadly instances of restraint and seclusion in schools, problems which were later confirmed in a government report as well.
Students with disabilities were most often subject to the questionable practices, the reports found.
In response, legislation sharply restricting restraint and seclusion was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, but when Senate talks fell apart later that year, action on the issue largely fizzled.
Currently, a patchwork of state and local rules exist. Disability advocates say that federal requirements are needed to ensure student safety.
However, at least one group representing educators — the American Association of School Administrators — opposes such regulation arguing that it is unnecessary and would put school staff at risk.
Read more of Michelle Diament's Disability Scoop article HERE.
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