Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:10 AM
Subject: Update on Federal Restraint & Seclusion Bills
Dear PENT Cadre, Friends, and Supporters:
We wanted to provide a short update on the restraint and seclusion bills in the Senate and House of Representatives.
As you will recall, the House passed a restraint bill in March (H.R. 4247) and there has been a pending measure (S. 3895 Keeping All Student’s Safe Act) before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The Senate bill allows officials to put restraint or seclusion in an IEP or other student plan, which has been controversial and resulted in loss of support from some disability rights groups.
Senator Chris Dodd, who was the chief sponsor of the Senate bill, did not run for reelection. He has stated that he hopes to find another Democratic Senator to champion the bill in the next Congress. At this point, it is unclear what will happen to the Keeping All Children Safe Act, in the 112th Congress that has just begun. Some disability rights groups are working on alternative wording for this bill and strategies for getting a restraint and seclusion bill passed. We will let you know if we hear of any activity in Congress.
Meanwhile some states and individual districts are writing their own laws and policies on restraint and seclusion. In some cases, new laws and policies will apply to other agencies in addition to schools. Regardless of the status of a Federal law, the trend is to put more restrictions on how and when restraint and seclusion can be legally used.
Websites that may have additional information:
We will send more updates as they become available.
Kim Morton and Cindy Chacón
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