Take Action to Keep All Students Safe at School!

Take Action to Keep All Students Safe at School!

On Monday, February 24, Senator Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (view the bill here). We need all supporters of this critical legislation to act now to urge members of the U.S. Senate to co-sponsor this bill.

Click here to contact your senator

The use of restraint and seclusion in schools is a pervasive, nationwide problem. According to the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, the use of these dangerous practices is highest among children with disabilities and is disproportionately used on students of color.

Federal legislation is essential to provide all children in the U.S. with equal protection from these dangerous techniques that have resulted in serious injury, trauma, and even death.

Please act now! Contact your senators (click here) and tell them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S 2036). Your effort will help ensure the safety of all students against these harmful practices.

Related: Government Accountability Office report on restraint and seclusion in schools

For more information on restraint and seclusion, visit our resources section, and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stophurtingkids) and Twitter (@End_RS).

Full Press Release from Sen. Harkin’s Investigation

Full Press Release from Sen. Harkin’s Investigation

Harkin Investigation Finds Little to No Recourse for Families of Children Who Were Left in Isolation or Physically Restrained in Schools

Harkin Introduces “Keeping All Students Safe Act,” Legislation That Would Establish Safe School Culture for Students and Teachers, Prohibit the Use of Dangerous Seclusion and Restraints Practices

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a news conference in Washington today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled the findings of an investigation into the use of seclusion and restraints.  Harkin’s investigation found that under current law, a family whose child has been injured, experienced trauma, or died as a result of the use of seclusion or restraints in school has little or no recourse through school procedures or the courts.

At the event, Harkin announced the introduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill to ensure the effective implementation of positive behavioral interventions in our nations’ schools.  The legislation will help schools establish a safe and engaging learning culture for teachers and students alike, and will bar the use of seclusion in locked, unattended rooms or enclosures. The bill also prohibits almost all uses of restraint procedures in schools. A summary of the bill can be seen here. Read More »

Sen. Harkin Intros Keeping All Students Safe Act

Sen. Harkin Intros Keeping All Students Safe Act

Yesterday, February 12, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), held an event on Capitol Hill to discuss the findings of a committee investigation into the obstacles faced by parents whose children were restrained or secluded in public schools.

While the use of restraint and seclusion are prohibited in other settings, tens of thousands of children are subjected to these practices in the classroom each school year. Many of these children are physically and emotionally harmed by the use of restraints and seclusion. This investigation documents the inability of some families to effectively address the use of restraints and seclusion practices and to positively affect change in school practices.

“This report shows in stark detail that families whose children are being subjected to dangerous seclusion and restraint practices have little or no recourse through school procedures or thorough the courts,” Harkin said. “These practices provide no educational benefit, yet unsupervised seclusion and physical restraints are being used thousands of time each year against our nation’s school children.

Sen. Harkin discussed the investigation and also introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which aims to ensure effective implementation of positive behavioral interventions in our nation’s schools. Advocates and advocacy organizations are now gearing up to support the new legislation in the Senate. Additional details will be posted on this website very soon.

Restraints, Seclusions Target Students With Autism, New Report Shows

Children with autism were the most frequently subjected to restraint or seclusion in Connecticut schools in the 2012-13 school year, according to a new state report that tallied more than 33,000 incidents of physical restraint or seclusion in public schools and private special education programs.

The report from the state Department of Education shows that autism was the primary disability among special education students subject to “emergency” restraint or seclusion, with 40.4 percent of all such incidents involving a child with autism. Autism also accounted for nearly half of all cases in which children were put in seclusion as part of their individualized education plans, or IEPs.

You can read the full article on the Connecticut Health I-Team’s website.

Identify and Prevent Abuse with this Back to School Checklist

Identify and Prevent Abuse with this Back to School Checklist

As part of preparing for your child’s return to school this fall, you may have taken care of all of the conventional school checklist issues; now let the Stop Hurting Kids campaign help you protect your child from abuse at school. The Stop Hurting Kids campaign has released a Back to School Checklist to help parents think about and act upon strategies that may prevent abuse at school. Read More »

‘Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories’ to Premier in Reno, Nevada

‘Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories’ to Premier in Reno, Nevada

“Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories” will premier at the Best Western Airport Plaza in Reno Nevada this August 16. The 28-minute film features first-hand accounts of students and families, who describe the devastating physical and emotional injuries they suffered because of being restrained and secluded in public schools. Witness also, their successes in working to put their lives back together and to prevent such injuries from happening to others. Read More »

View Restraint & Seclusion Laws and Policies by State

View Restraint & Seclusion Laws and Policies by State

Since the Stop Hurting Kids campaign began we’ve been hearing from supporters around the U.S. who want to know more about what laws and policies are in place where they live. That information is often difficult to come by, since state laws – where they exist at all – can be widely divergent.

So we’re thrilled to add a report to StopHurtingKids.com that makes finding state-relevant information much easier. My State’s Seclusion & Restraint Laws is a new report containing brief summaries of each state’s restraint and seclusion laws and policies for school. Read More »

People First of Nevada Take Action on “Scream Rooms”

People First of Nevada Take Action on “Scream Rooms”

The self-advocacy group People First of Nevada rallied in response to reports from children with disabilities and their parents in Washoe County School District about the use of “scream rooms” – rooms used to isolate or seclude children, in which they are left alone and prevented from leaving. Read More »

Using Twitter to Reach Congress

Using Twitter to Reach Congress

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from folks who have been contacting Congress using the PopVox widget. Sometimes effective advocacy means having the right tools in the toolbox, so we’re really excited to show you one more we launched this week. Read More »

Take Action: Contact Your Member of Congress

Take Action: Contact Your Member of Congress

Every student deserves to learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment, yet each day children across the U.S. continue to be subjected to restraint and seclusion abuse. We can do more to protect our kids, and we can start by advocating for federal policy that puts an end to restraint and seclusion abuse.

Starting today, we’re asking every supporter of the Stop Hurting Kids campaign to contact their congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives with a simple message: stop hurting kids. It takes just minutes to make a difference, and you can do it right from this website. Read More »