After months of work, the House and Senate introduced legislation to address and prevent the abuse of physical restraint and seclusion in schools. H.R. 4247 cosponsored by Chairman George Miller (D-CA) and Representative McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and S. 2860 sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), present a comprehensive framework to address the use of restraint and seclusion for all ages in all types of schools. In so doing, they rely on and incorporate many CEC and the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders’ (CCBD), a division of CEC, recommendations .
CEC and CCBD have worked diligently with Congress on this legislation over many months. In May, CEC and CCBD member Reece Peterson, Ph.D., professor at the University of Nebraska, testified before the House Education and Labor Committee on the state of research and the appropriate use of restraint and seclusion. For more information about May’s hearing, click here. Dr. Peterson also discussed information from two white papers CCBD produced on this subject and offered many recommendations to the Committee.
This hearing sparked a much needed national discussion on the appropriate use of restraints and seclusion. CEC’s Associate Executive Director, Deborah Ziegler, contributed to the debate by speaking with NPR, CBS News and the Washington Post about the use of restraints and seclusion in schools, and ways to properly manage and prevent children’s challenging behaviors. Shortly after this, CEC also updated its policy on physical restraint and seclusion in the schools. Read CEC’s Policy on Physical Restraint and Seclusion in School Settings. CEC then presented Enhancing School Safety: Appropriate Use of Restraint and Seclusion Procedures in a special congressional briefing in June of this year.
CEC played an active role in the discussions with Congress surrounding the legislation and is pleased that it includes many of CEC and CCBD’s recommendations. In describing the legislation, CEC and CCBD member and noted behavior expert, George Sugai stated, “creating safe, positive, preventive, and caring learning and teaching environments is important for maximizing success for all students in America’s schools.”
The introduction of the legislation again sparked media coverage. Good Morning America aired a segment previewing the bill introduction, with a clip of an interview with Chairman Miller. And Chairman Miller and Rep. McMorris Rodgers wrote an op-ed on the legislation.
Finally, for more information.