Why Restraint Prevention is the Priority

Why Restraint Prevention is the Priority

Barb Trader, TASH ED, was a featured speaker at the Crisis Prevention Institute’s (CPI) launch of their North America Restraint Reduction Network. Barb serves a dual role with TASH and as the Convener of APRAIS, the Alliance for the Prevention of Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion which TASH launched in 2004. She focused her remarks on three important principles – restraint and seclusion are dangerous practices, physically and emotionally; they can have long-term negative impact on children after just one incident; and, students, teachers and schools are safer when the emphasis is improving school culture as a means of prevention. She also cited recent research, which shows that most children restrained are under 10 years old, and that aggressive behavior of the student is RARE – and the most likely cause for staff to restrain or seclude students is for lack of compliance. In other words, the most vulnerable children are being subjected to dangerous practices for reasons that are not justifiable.

The response of school personnel to the behavior of students entrusted to them throughout the school day is critically important to healthy student development. Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions and Trauma-Informed Practices are complimentary practices that support students to succeed in a school environment. School personnel must be prepared and supported to adopt these practices and to support students to learn in a supportive, caring environment. Conversely, restraint and seclusion are deeply traumatizing experiences for children subjected, school personnel who use them, and students who witness their use. Research shows that even one incident of trauma experienced in childhood can have a devastating impact on a child’s neurological development, ability to trust, and healthy development. A child’s experience of trauma is often not known or recognized. Adults in contact with children must develop trauma-informed practices to ensure that child survivors of trauma are not re-traumatized by adult behaviors or environmental factors, and are supported to feel safe and heal.

CPI, a company which trains school personnel to create safer environments, launched the North America Restraint Reduction Network this summer at their CPI Instructor Training Institute in New Orleans on July 21, in part a response to the alarming rates of restraint and seclusion use in public schools.

TASH Releases Position Statement on Cameras in Schools

TASH Releases Position Statement on Cameras in Schools

TASH has been at the forefront of ending restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools for many years. So, why not support the use of cameras in classrooms? TASH believes that placing cameras in classrooms could lead to new and more entrenched types of discrimination and abuse. In late January, TASH released a new position statement, Will Cameras in Classrooms Make Schools Safer?, urging caution and describing the unexplored dangers of having video cameras in schools.

The New Face of Punishment in the Public Schools

The New Face of Punishment in the Public Schools

Noted conservative attorney and activist, John Whitehead, shares his perspective on restraint and seclusion in school districts across the country in his editorial, “Handcuffs, Leg Shackles and Tasers: The New Face of Punishment in the Public Schools.”  Whitehead’s testament proves that opposition to these dangerous practices comes from both sides of the political spectrum.

In this article, Whitehead describes the dangers of restraint and seclusion. With schools who implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) still as the minority,  children who act out are more likely to become victims of restraint and seclusion.  Whitehead expresses similarities between our nation’s schools and the American police state.

“Clearly, the pathology that characterizes the American police state has passed down to the schools,” says Whitehead.  “Now in addition to the government and its agents viewing the citizenry as suspects to be probed, poked, pinched, tasered, searched, seized, stripped and generally manhandled, all with the general blessing of the court, our children in the public schools are also fair game.”

Click here, to read the full article.

TASH Model State Bill on Restraint & Seclusion

TASH Model State Bill on Restraint & Seclusion

TASH has led the fight against the use of aversive behavioral interventions for many years. Last year, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights data collection reported that restraint and seclusion use is climbing in public schools. Use is disproportionate: 75% of all incidents involve students with disabilities, and children of color with and without disabilities are twice as likely to be targeted compared to other students. Research tells us that restraint and seclusion serves no benefit, and is traumatic and dangerous for children and for staff.

Last year, the Keeping All Students Safe Act in the House and Senate generated 70 co-sponsors total, but did not pass. Less than half of the states have enforceable protections against the non-emergency use of restraint and seclusion for all children. To respond to this lack of protections in states, TASH and our partner organizations (COPAA, NDRN and other members of APRAIS) drafted this model state bill.  View key components of the model state bill.

Most state legislatures are now in session. If your state does not have meaningful and enforceable protections in place for students (assess your state here), please consider working with other advocates in your state to introduce this bill and work toward its passage.

More information, including a compelling video of restraint and seclusion stories, research articles, position papers, and parent resources, can be found at http://stophurtingkids.com.

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.