On Wednesday, February 12 at 10:00AM EST, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, will announce the results of a special Senate investigation of obstacles parents face in trying to keep their children safe from these dangerous practices. The special investigation report focuses on families who have been unable to to address restraint and seclusion under current law when it happened to their children. He will also discuss recommendations from the report and Senate legislation to prevent the use of restraint and seclusion in school and keep children and staff safe. Watch and listen to the event at http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=live&comm=help&filename=help021214 Follow the event and news from Senator Harkin about the legislation on twitter @SenatorHarkin
Each year, tens of thousands of students are restrained and forced into seclusion. They have been killed, suffered broken bones and other injuries, and traumatized. Students have been restrained and secluded for being unable to do class work, being unable to pay attention due to disability issues, pushing items off desks, having tantrums, convenience, punishment, and similar issues.
Obstacles to addressing restraint and seclusion are faced by parents every day. Over 2/3 of states lack laws protecting all students from restraint and seclusion. Only 14 states by law require that an emergency threatening physical danger exist before restraint can be used for all children; only 11 protect all children from non-emergency seclusion. Fewer than half of the states require schools to notify all parents when their child is restrained and secluded. Children have died and been injured and their parents did not know what was happening to them. http://www.autcom.org/pdf/HowSafeSchoolhouse.pdf
Watch Senator Harkin on Wednesday, February 12 at 10AM EST, at http://www.help.senate.gov/, and follow his work to combat restraint and seclusion on twitter @SenatorHarkin
Congressional Affairs Coordinator
Autism National Committee (AutCom)
23 years of advocating for children and adults with autism