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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seclusion and Restraint in Special Education



Seclusion and Restraint within Schools    
It seems almost everyday there is a news story about an autistic child being left on the bus. We as the viewers always wonder,"How is this possible? Don't drivers check the bus?". So parents of disabled children put their child on the bus and hope their child is returned safely. Now what would a parent do if their child was physically retrained or put in seclusion. I know if I heard my child was restrained, you had better restrain me because I would raise hell and make sure that everyone knew about the school.
So how often does this form of discipline occur in our schools? A research report conducted by the Council of Parent Attornies and Advocates reported that a majority of the children were in a special education classroom-not a lived classroom. Some of the restraints used were actually deadly. Following this report, the government investigated this issue and confirmed the previous reports findings. What is the proper recourse if your child is subjected to such behavior in an environment that should protect your child? I found a wonderful guide to help parents address these types of issues. It is titled,"Shouldn't School Be Safe?". It covers the areas of Prevention, Vigilance and Response. Another resource is the group working toward the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities.

The latest news is that the government is working to pass legislation that addresses developing guidelines for school administration when managing the disabled child. Unfortunately, this issue was not addresses as planned on July 12, 2012. This legislation has been a topic before Congress since 2009.  The bill is sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. However, While there is a similar proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican chair of the House education committee has indicated that he has no plans to address the issue.  There is a similar proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican chair of the House education committee Rep. John Kline has indicated that he has no plans to address the issue. How is it that abuse of our children has been placed at the bottom of government's list?

I request everyone to send a letter to Rep. John Kline detailing the importance of this legislation before your child is abused by the school system.

Congressman John Kline
U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Tel: 202-225-4527
Fax: 202-225-9571



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