For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) applauds Congress for introducing the Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA) which would make it illegal for any school receiving federal funds to seclude a child or use dangerous restraint practices that restrict breathing, such as prone or supine restraint. The bill would also prohibit schools from physically restraining children, except when necessary to protect students and staff.
“No child in America should have to attend a school where being locked in a room alone or suffocated while being restrained is part of a school’s standard operating procedure,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “KASSA establishes minimum safety standards for all children to help ensure equal opportunity and full participation in school for students with disabilities who are disproportionately subjected to restraint and seclusion.”
NDRN and our members, the Protection and Advocacy agencies, have investigated instances in which children as young as five years old have been confined, tied up, pinned down, and battered through the use of restraint and seclusion. Unfortunately, some children have lost their lives as a result.
“We have an opportunity to do better for students. So what will it take for Congress to pass this legislation?” asked Decker. “Yet another death?”
NDRN has long advocated for a national standard on restraint and seclusion. We must build an education system that is inclusive, individualized, and responsive to the needs of all students. This system cannot ever be truly realized if some groups of students enter the school doors only to be met with violent abuse instead of the evidence-based supports and services we know children need to thrive.
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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 P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.