Rep. George Miller in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Tom Harkin and Mike Enzi in the U.S. Senate are working to bring an end to the dangerous and deadly practices of seclusion and unnecessary restraint. Schools need to use evidence based positive practices instead.Please contact your elected officials (again if you have already) and urge co-sponsorship and swift passage of THE KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT (S.2020 in the Senate and H.R. 1381 in the House).
Senator Harkin is the Chairman of the Commitee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension. Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi released the following announcement for a hearing in the Senate next week:
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR
To: All Committee Members
Title: Beyond Seclusion and Restraint: Creating Positive Learning Environments for All Students
Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Dr. Daniel Crimmins, Director, Center for Leadership in Disability, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
Ms. Cyndi Pitonyak, Coordinator of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Montgomery County Public Schools, Christiansburg, Virginia
Dr. Michael George, Director, Centennial School, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Ms. Deborah (Debbie) Jackson, Parent, Easton, Pennsylvania
During remarks on the House floor today, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, called on Chairman John Kline (R-MN) to consider the Keeping All Students Safe Act – a bill to protect children from abusive seclusion and restraint practices while attending school. Although the legislation passed the House more than two years ago with bipartisan support, it never became law.
“Schools are supposed to be a safe place. Parents should never have to worry about the safety of their children when they’re at school,” said Miller. “No child should be neglected, abused, or injured while they are trying to learn.”
In recent months, there have been disturbing cases of children being dangerously restrained by teachers and staff during the school day. In several of these cases, students have suffered serious injury or even died as a result of their injuries. The Keeping All Students Safe Act would, for the first time, put in place minimum safety standards to prevent abusive seclusion and restraint in schools across the country. The legislation would protect schoolchildren from inappropriate uses of seclusion and restraint while at school. The bill would also provide school personnel with the necessary tools, training, and support to ensure the safety of all students and school personnel who support them.
Miller’s remarks today follow a letter he sent last week to Chairman Kline requesting immediate committee action to markup the legislation.
The full text of the letter to Chairman Kline can be found here.
Miller’s remarks on the House floor can be found here.
More information on seclusion and restraint can be found here.
SENATE. You can email your Senators through the Senate website forms at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm Locate your 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://www.house.gov/representatives/find/