SUPPORT GROWS FOR KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (VA-8) and Bobby Scott (VA-3), introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA), which would protect students from the dangers of seclusion and restraint. If enacted, the law would establish strong federal standards to prohibit the use of seclusion and to limit restraint in federally funded schools, improve the safety of students and school staff, and ensure parents are informed when their child is physically restrained. Murray is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Murphy is a member of the committee. Scott is ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Support for the legislation has continued to grow since the members introduced it last week. Here is what leading organizations are saying about the Keeping All Students Safe Act:

The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion (APRAIS):

“Restraint and seclusion are dangerous practices that cause students trauma and have resulted in injury, and even death. School personnel can also be injured when imposing restraint and seclusion. Though the use of restraint and seclusion is widespread, national data indicates that students with disabilities are roughly 20 times more likely than their peers without disabilities to be restrained and/or secluded. All of our nation’s students deserve better … We applaud your leadership in authoring and promoting the Keeping All Students Safe Act. We look forward to working with you and your staff to help pass this important legislation.”

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc.:

“COPAA writes to express strong support for the introduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act. We appreciate your leadership in proposing legislation that prohibits seclusion and seeks to prevent and limit the use of restraint in schools. This bill, if enacted, would considerably strengthen protections in every state and ensure the safety of all students and school personnel.”

The Arc:

“The Arc is pleased that this legislation bans the most dangerous restraints and limits physical restraints to emergency situations, and that it requires parental notification when restraint occurs. The Arc also greatly appreciates that that for the first time, the House and Senate bills ban seclusion.”  

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN):

“The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) writes in strong support of the Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA).  We appreciate your leadership and recognition that a federal bill which bans seclusion and places very narrow parameters on allowable circumstances for physical restraint is paramount to ensuring that all students are able to learn in a safe school environment.  Additionally, NDRN applauds the prevention of problematic behavior through use of de-escalation techniques, conflict management, and evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports contained within KASSA.”

Below is a complete list of organizations supporting the bill:

AUCD

The Arc

American Association of People with Disabilities

Autism Society of America

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Center for Public Representation

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

Family Alliance to Stop Abuse and Neglect

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Autism Association

National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools

National Center for Learning Disabilities

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)

National Disability Rights Network

National Down Syndrome Congress

Respectability Law Center

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

TASH

National PTA

 

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