Restraint and Seclusion bill stalled

18 Nov

The United States legislature has been considering a bill to limit seclusion and restraints in schools. The bill, Senate Bill 3895, Keeping All Students Safe Act , has not passed and is now stalled.

Here is the statement from the “Capital Insider”, an email sent weekly by The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy.

Restraint and Seclusion – Bill Not Moving Forward this Congress

DPC staff and representatives of other national disability organizations met with staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee and learned that S.3895, The Keeping All Kids Safe Act, will not move forward in this session of Congress. It is possible that new legislation could be introduced in the next session of Congress. Senator Burr (R-NC) indicated his continuing interest in addressing restraint and seclusion in schools. Advocates will be looking for a Democratic sponsor given the retirement of Senator Dodd (D-CT) from the Senate.

” It is possible that new legislation could be introduced in the next session of Congress. ” That means that this bill is dead. A new bill would have to be introduced to start this over.

The Senate version of the bill (the one cited above) had an IEP provision that would allow seclusion/restraint plans. Here is a section from WrightsLaw discussing this bill:

The Senate version of the “Keeping All Students Safe Act” (S.3895) is significantly different from the House bill, and includes a provision that is creating substantial controversy. The controversial provision would allow schools to … include seclusion/restraint plans in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), safety plans, educational plans, and behavior plans.


Other organizations – including Wrightslaw and Our Children Left Behind – say the IEP provision is fatal to the bill. We cannot accept legislation that will permit the planned use of seclusion /restraint by including it in the IEPs of children with disabilities, and other similar plans.

A seclusion and restraints bill is needed but it appears that this bill may be better off dying this session.

3 Responses to “Restraint and Seclusion bill stalled”

  1. Phyllis M. March 14, 2012 at 15:08 #

    TASH Responds to American Association of School Administrators Position Supporting Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

    View the full announcement at

    Attention TASH members,

    Last week, the American Association of School Administrators issued an unsubstantiated, ill-informed and reckless report in which it voiced support for restraint and seclusion use on children in our schools. This report gained much attention through e-mail circulation and national news reports. TASH has responded in order to bring clarity and truth to the conversation.

    In the report, AASA frames the decision to use restraint and seclusion this way:

    If school districts were unable to occasionally use these techniques with students with severe behavioral or emotional disorders, then these students would have to be institutionalized or sent to private facilities where they may not have the same rights and services available to them.

    Either submit to restraint and seclusion or be institutionalized? We know these are not the only options. AASA goes on to suggest restraint and seclusion ensures greater safety for teachers, and that these practices are what allow students to remain in public school settings.

    The truth is, restraint and seclusion is dangerous and traumatic for everyone involved, and is used most often for convenience and punishment rather than emergencies. These practices also disproportionately impact students with significant disabilities, particularly those between ages 6 and 10.

    Please read our full response to AASA’s report here at, and help us spread the word!

    Take Action! Forward this message to:

    Friends and colleagues affected by this issue
    Teachers, school administrators and other school personnel
    Media contacts in your area (especially education reporters)

    Thank you for your support!


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