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NDRN Responds to Education Department Guidance on the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

For Immediate Release             
January 6, 2017  

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122

WASHINGTON – Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), issued the following statement in response to the Department of Education guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools:

“The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is very pleased that the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has issued its Dear Colleague Letter on restraint and seclusion in schools. This guidance makes clear that school districts need to take steps to address underlying causes of behaviors that give rise to conduct for which a school district believes it needs to restrain or seclude a student. In the absence of a federal statute, and within the constraints of current law, we believe this guidance will go a long way toward reducing the unnecessary restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities.

“NDRN believes that the documents released by the Department of Education provide significant guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities in schools. NDRN and the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Network have been calling for the issuance of such a binding guidance since the release of NDRN’s report, “School is Not Supposed to Hurt ” in January of 2009.

“Most recently, NDRN and the P&A Network sent a letter, signed on by forty-seven P&A agencies, to Secretary King asking for issuance of binding guidance on seclusion and restraint. To read this letter, go to: P&A Sign on for Seclusion and Restraint Guidance .

“Every student deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment. We look forward to working with the Department of Education to further reduce the unnecessary restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

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