On Thursday, May 9th, Congressman George Miller (D-CA), ranking member of the House Education & Workforce Committee and Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act, HR 1893, a bill to protect all students nationwide from restraint and seclusion.
Below is a summary of important points about the Keeping Students Safe Act, HR 1893.
- The KSSA will ban restraint/seclusion except in emergencies where someone is in danger of physical harm.
- The KSSA will require that parents be informed if their child was restrained/secluded on the same day that the event occurred. Parents should be notified very quickly so they can seek medical care for concussions, hidden internal injuries, and trauma, and to work with the schools to create positive environments for their children.
- The KSSA will ban restraints that impede breathing, mechanical restraints, and chemical restraints. These include chairs and other devices that children are locked into; duct tape and bungee cords, ties, rope, and other things used to restrain children; and other devices.
- The KSSA will prevent restraint/seclusion from being used when less restrictive alternatives, like positive supports and de-escalation, would eliminate any danger. It would require them to end when the emergency ends.
- The KSSA will require that if children are placed in seclusion rooms, school staff must continuously visually observe them.
- Instead of restraint and seclusion, the KSSA seeks to promote positive behavioral supports for all children. The bill will shift schools toward preventing problematic behavior through the use of de-escalation techniques, conflict management and evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports. This shift of focus will help school personnel understand the needs of their students and safely address the source of challenging behaviors – a better result for everyone in the classroom.
- The KSSA will also ban dangerous aversive practices that threaten safety; require the collection of data; and require appropriate training of staff.
View the bill here: Keeping Student Safe Act
To contact your members of Congress regarding the bill, dial 202-224-3121; ask for your Representative’s Office, and then ask for the education aide. If you are unable to call and need to use email, visit http://bit.ly/RepWrit. (You can also find your Representative’s name here.)