What’s in the Keeping All Students Safe Act?

What’s in the Keeping All Students Safe Act?

As far as bill reading goes, HR 1893, the Keeping All Students Safe Act, is a pretty straightforward document. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read through the full text of the bill, which can be viewed below or downloaded right here.

This legislation spells out the reasons why federal protections are so critical, and summarizes the terms used throughout the bill. It goes on to specify the baseline of protections it would ensure, reporting and assessment measures and the limitations on applicability (such as private schools and home schooling).

The following is a summary of what the Keeping All Students Safe Act would do. This information comes from the Committee on Education and the Workforce, in which Rep. Miller introduced the legislation.

Establish minimum safety standards in schools, similar to protections already in place in hospitals and non-medical community-based facilities

Allow physical restraint or locked seclusion only when there is imminent danger of injury, and only when imposed by trained staff;

Prohibit the use of any mechanical restraint, such as strapping children to chairs, misusing therapeutic equipment to punish students, or duct-taping parts of their bodies;

Prohibit chemical restraint, meaning medications used to control behavior that are not administered consistent with a physician’s prescription;

Prohibit any restraint that restricts breathing;

Prohibit aversive behavioral interventions that compromise health and safety, such as denying students water, food, or clothing, denying access to toilet facilities, or using noxious stimuli such as pepper spray;

Prohibit schools from including restraint or seclusion as planned interventions in student’s education plans, including Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); and

Require schools to notify parents after incidents when restraint or seclusion was used.

Support states to provide training to better ensure the safety in schools and to establish monitoring and enforcement systems

Within two years of passage of the law, each state must have its own policies, procedures, monitoring and enforcement systems in place to meet the minimum standards.

Provide to grants to states to improve the culture and climate of the schools through professional development, training and positive behavior support programs; and

Encourage schools to establish school safety plans that keep both students and personnel safe when student behavior poses an imminent danger.

Increase transparency, oversight and enforcement to prevent future abuse

Require states to collect and report data on the use of seclusion and restraint annually to the Secretary of Education; and

Make data about restraint and seclusion publicly available, including data on the number of incidents, injuries, cases of death, and cases involving untrained staff.

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Hi there! I'm the advocacy communications manager for TASH (http://tash.org), and also the communications coordinator for the Stop Hurting Kids campaign to end restraint and seclusion abuse in schools. If you have a question about the campaign and what we're doing, send me an e-mail at jriethmaier@tash.org.
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