“Restraint and Seclusion” Film Receives Dodie Spital Award

“Restraint and Seclusion” Film Receives Dodie Spital Award

Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories has been selected by the 2015 Picture This Film Festival to receive the Dodie Spital Award at the March festival in Calgary, Canada.

The Picture This Film Festival (PTFF) is an international disability film festival that features films that are about disability and/or films on any subject that were produced, directed, and/or written by people with disabilities. PTFF recognizes and celebrates artistic excellence that promotes a more inclusive world. The festival will be held March 16-18 at the Calgary Scope Society.

“Restraint & Seclusion” film to air on SFGovTV2

“Restraint & Seclusion” film to air on SFGovTV2

In January 2015, TASH’s film, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories, will air on San Francisco local TV station, SFGovTV2.  As a result of winning the Advocacy Award at this year’s Superfest International Disability Film Festival, Restraint and Seclusion will air on the following days throughout the month and can be viewed online here.

Saturdays: 10:30 AM & 10:00 PM
Sundays: 9:15 AM & 8:30 PM
Mondays: 11:00 AM
Thursdays: 11:30 PM

The film has received nearly 14,000 views among Youtube and Vimeo.  Please help spread the film among your networks and bring an end to restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.  Share the video on your social networks and tune in to SFGovTV2 in January 2015.

View & share on…

Youtube
Vimeo

TASH’s Barb Trader Interviewed for ATN’s Online Trauma Summit

TASH’s Barb Trader Interviewed for ATN’s Online Trauma Summit

On October 8, 2014, Barb Trader the executive director of TASH will be featured during the Attachment & Trauma Network’s (ATN) 10-day online summit, Educating Traumatized Children.  Barb’s interview, “Reducing Restraints & Seclusions with Trauma Sensitive Practices,” is one of over 20 interviews to air during the online summit, which takes place September 30 through October 10, 2014.

During Barb’s 40-minute interview, she voices the dangers of using restraint and seclusion in schools and what schools should be working toward as interventions and alternatives to these practices.  Barb discusses how trauma-informed practices for educators and Positive Behavior Supports can be used as a framework to reduce traumatizing practices.

Registration for the online summit is free throughout the duration of the event.  Register here: (http://www.attachu.org/events/summit) to tune in to Barb’s interview – available for free until midnight Pacific Time on October 8, 2014. Attachment & Trauma Network will also make transcripts of the interviews available for purchase after the summit concludes.

Inhumanity Anywhere is a Threat to Human Dignity Everywhere

Inhumanity Anywhere is a Threat to Human Dignity Everywhere

Guest Blog Post By: Scott Badesch, President/CEO, Autism Society of America

Recently, it seems like every morning I have read or heard about incidents of violence against individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In Traverse City, Michigan, Kelli Stapleton tried to kill her daughter on the spectrum. A Florida teen, Aaron Hill, was kicked and punched by two young men at a party. In Bay Village, Ohio, an unnamed 15-year-old boy on the spectrum was victimized in an Ice Bucket Challenge where the bucket of ice cold water was actually filled with body fluids. Last year, in Chicago, Alex Spourdalakis was stabbed to death by his reportedly overburdened mother and caretaker. And, most recently, in Montgomery County, Maryland, John and Janice Land kept their 22-year-old sons with autism padlocked in a basement room for nearly six years. There are countless incidences like these across the country.

In the case of Ms. Stapleton, the justice system found her competent to stand trial and allowed her to enter a plea deal related to child abuse rather than attempted murder. Imagine that, a child with a disability nearly loses her life and the justice system sees no wrong in lowering the charge to a lesser crime. It was not abuse – the crime was an attempt to end the life of a young girl. While some may suggest that the mother was overburdened by the demands of her daughter, the reality is, being overburden is not a license to kill. The same is true for the mother in Chicago. In the Lands case, the imprisonment of their two children was not seen as inhumane; calls for justice were nearly nonexistent with the exception of voices from the autism community.

As a society, we must demand that when violence occurs to those living with a disability, appropriate prosecution for the crime committed is the only acceptable response. We must view violence against individuals living with ASD and other disabilities as hate crimes and judge them as we would any other hate crime.

We must make sure that we value the dignity of all people – regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or political affiliation. It is time to demand respect for all humankind and focus on improving the quality of life for everyone, including those living with autism.

Scott Badesch
President/CEO
Autism Society of America

Senior Democrats Call for Action on Legislation to Prevent Seclusion and Restraint

Senior Democrats Call for Action on Legislation to Prevent Seclusion and Restraint

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WASHINGTON—Senior Democrats on the House Education and the Workforce Committee today called for swift action on legislation to protect children from the use of seclusion and restraint in schools.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the committee, and fellow committee Democrat Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), sent a letter to committee chairman Rep. John Kline (D-Minn.), requesting that the committee consider the bipartisan Keeping All Students Safe Act (H.R. 1893).“As we’ve discussed previously, the pervasive use of seclusion and restraint in our nation’s schools is threatening the safety, well-being, and academic achievement of thousands of students,” wrote Reps. Miller and Scott. “This pressing issue demands federal action, and we stand ready to work with you to address this injustice and prioritize the safety of our nation’s students before the close of the 113th Congress.”

The Keeping All Students Safe Act would prevent and reduce inappropriate seclusion and restraint by establishing minimum safety standards in schools, similar to protections already in place in hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and non-medical community-based facilities that receive federal funds. The bill asks states to provide staff support and training, as well as increase transparency, oversight, and enforcement to prevent future abuse of students nationwide.

The bill is similar to legislation that was introduced in both the 111th and 112th Congresses.

For more information on the Keeping All Students Safe Actclick here.

Read the full text of the letter.

Source: Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats

Bill Lichtenstein’s article, ” Exercising Restraint”

Bill Lichtenstein’s article, ” Exercising Restraint”

Proposed federal legislation would curtail the use of dangerous—and sometimes deadly—restraint and seclusion practices in classrooms nationwide…

Bill Lichtenstein, former investigative producer for ABC News 20/20, World News Tonight and Nightline, founder of  LCMedia, and father who’s child was subjected to restraint and seclusion, shares his perspective on the use of these damaging practices in schools.  For two years, Lichtenstein has followed the evolution controversy surrounding restraint and seclusion as a journalist and father.  This article answers questions ranging from “what is restraint and seclusion in schools?” to “what about the parents who speak up?”

Click here to read the full article.

 

TASH Commends OCR’s Strong Stand Against Restraint and Seclusion

TASH Commends OCR’s Strong Stand Against Restraint and Seclusion

Prince William County Schools enter into a resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights

TASH commends the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for investigating Virginia’s Prince William County School’s restraint and seclusion policy and it’s misalignment with practices that were occurring specifically within the Positive Attitude and Commitment to Education (PACE) East and West Program.

Read letter to the Office for Civil Rights here.

OCR’s investigation, prompted by a 2012 complaint, found that the program has inappropriately used restraint and seclusion since 2012.  In lieu of the findings, Prince William County Schools voluntarily entered into a resolution agreement with OCR.

“I’m really pleased to see OCR take such a strong stand against the disparate application of these dangerous practices,” said Barb Trader, Executive Director of TASH.  “Restraint and seclusion are both extremely dangerous and have no place in a school building, unless it is a true emergency situation.”

The resolution agreement requires Prince William County Schools to reevaluate the placement, services, and behavioral interventions for any student who was secluded or restrained since 2012. If the district decides that a student needs a change in placement or services to meet specific behavioral needs, then it will provide compensatory services.  TASH believes the resolution agreement will lead to systemic changes including policy analysis and proactive professional development.

TASH continues to work with members, legislators, and policy influencers toward creating, revising, and aligning policy that promotes equitable access and opportunity for students with disabilities.  TASH appreciates OCR’s acknowledgement of the importance of proper and appropriate management of students who display challenging behaviors in the school setting.

TASH Hosts Congressional Briefing to #StopRS

TASH Hosts Congressional Briefing to #StopRS

photoPictured (left to right): Joe Ryan, Tonia Ferguson, Mazen Fawzy, Paula Buege, Barb Trader, Donovan Richards, Dan Habib, Jennifer Bellamy

The room was packed tight this morning at TASH’s Congressional Briefing on restraint and seclusion.  TASH in conjunction with ACLU, APRAIS, and the Congressional Black Caucus Education & Labor Taskforce, hosted over 80 attendees to build awareness about the dangers of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.

TASH’s Executive Director, Barbara Trader, along with filmmaker, Dan Habib, kicked off the Congressional Briefing with an introduction to restraint and seclusion featuring highlights from the movie, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories.  Senator Chris Murphy, co-sponsor of the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036/H.R. 1893), then joined the group to stress the importance of passing this bill.

“Going to school shouldn’t hurt,” said Paula Buege, mother of Donovan Richards.  Paula and Donovan travelled from Wisconsin to the nation’s capitol to share their story and speak out against the physical and mental abuse occurring in schools.  Donovan, a 20-year-old young man, spoke about his near daily subjection to restraint and seclusion in his early years of education.  Paula and Donovan joined panelists Mazen Fawzy, Tonia Ferguson, and Dr. Joe Ryan in sharing their stories.

Dr. Joe Ryan, Professor of Special Education and Associate Director of Research for the School of Education at Clemson University described the act of restraint and seclusion as insanity, or Einstein’s definition of it; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting results.  He shared his research with attendees proving that restraint and seclusion does not work to change behavior.

The harmful use of restraint and seclusion is a pervasive, nationwide problem.  Federal legislation is essential to provide children in all states equal protection from these dangerous techniques.  Currently, the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036/H.R. 1893) has 40 co-sponsors in the House and 4 co-sponsors in the Senate.  Attendees were asked to encourage their representative, senators, and even bosses to co-sponsor the bill and help protect all students nationwide from restraint and seclusion in schools.

You can do the same!  Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) to speak to your representative or senators today!

TASH’s Restraint and Seclusion Film Wins Award

TASH’s Restraint and Seclusion Film Wins Award

International Disability Film Festival Honors Restraint and Seclusion With Advocacy Award

On November 2, 2014, TASH’s film, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories, will be presented with the Advocacy Award at Superfest, the longest running disability film festival in the world.

“The real credit for this award goes to the individuals in the film who had the courage to speak out about their horrific experiences with restraint and seclusion.  It was an honor for me to help tell their stories through the film.  Because of these brave and eloquent advocates, this film has become a powerful tool for public education and advocacy throughout the country and internationally.”

Dan Habib, Film Director/Producer

Restraint and Seclusion was developed as part of the Stop Hurting Kids campaign.  In the film, a group of parents and students describe the restraint and seclusion each student experienced while in public schools, and the devastating physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a result.  The film (27 minutes) is available to the public through StopHurtingKids.com for training, professional development, and public awareness.

The film prompted the creation of the Advocacy Award; new to this year’s program.  The award was created in order to honor films with significant disability justice content.

Restraint and Seclusion will be presented with the Advocacy Award at Superfest on November 2, 2014 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in downtown San Francisco.

Action Alert

Action Alert

ASK CONGRESS TO SUPPORT BILL TO PREVENT DANGEROUS RESTRAINT & SECLUSION

National Call-In Day, June 12

Restraint and Seclusion are practices used in public schools that have killed, injured, and traumatized students. More than 20 children have died, according to a Congressional agency report.  At least 107,000 students were subjected to restraint and seclusion in isolation rooms, according to data from the 2011-12 school year. To prevent these practices and protect students and staff, Senators Tom Harkin and Chris Murphy have introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act in the Senate (S. 2036) and Representatives George Miller and Gregg Harper have introduced the House bill (H.R. 1893).

ACT NOW!!

On June 12 (or during that week—)

  • Call your senators today—US capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121—and urge them to co-sponsor the KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT, S. 2036.  (Leave a voicemail if no one answers).

Sample Message: “Please cosponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act, S.2036, and protect all American students nationwide from restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.”

  • Call your Representative today (202-224-3121) and ask him/her to COSPONSOR the KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT, HR 1893. (Leave a voicemail if no one answers).

Sample Message: “Please cosponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act, S.2036, and protect all American students nationwide from restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.”

Make sure Congress hears from thousands of parents, people with disabilities, students, advocates, professionals, friends, families, and neighbors so they will ACT!

Get Social!

Facebook: Act Now! National Call-In Day is June 12th.

Help keep all students safe at school.  Call your senators and representatives today (202-224-3121) and urge them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act S. 2036.  Follow the link below to read more http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09719t.pdf or visit www.facebook.com/stophurtingkids

Twitter: Call your senators and representatives today (202-224-3121) and urge them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act. National Call-In Day June 12. #stopRS

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Senate Bill S. 2036 and Senate Committee Description
House Bill H.R. 1893 and House Statement
http://stophurtingkids.com
Find your Laws in My State’s Seclusion and Restraint Laws
GAO Report and Education Department Data Snapshot