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Here is a sample email you can send your Senators about S.2020. Feel free to change it as you like. Please email even if you have not been personally affected. The Senate must hear from many, many people!
Please COSPONSOR the Keeping All Students Safe Act, S. 2020 in the Senate and H.R. 1381 in the House of Representatives. It will create minimum standards to protect all children nationwide from restraint and seclusion.
(Special instructions if your child/family member/friend was restrained or secluded: tell their story, if you feel comfortable. Or just add a short sentence to say it happened to your child/someone you know, or could happen. Even if you do not have a story or do not want to share one, please email your representatives in Congress to ask them to cosponsor the bill.)
The Keeping All Students Safe Act will ban physical restraint except in emergency situations when there is an immediate threat of physical danger to a person. The law will also provide similar protections from seclusion. Today, less than 1/3 of states by law limit restraint and seclusion to emergency threats of danger. Far too often, children have been restrained or secluded for not doing assignments, being noisy, behavioral control, discipline, or punishment.
In March 2012, data released by the Department of Education showed that nearly 40,000 students were physically restrained during the 2009-10 school year; 70% of whom were students with disabilities. The data also showed that these practices are disproportionately used upon minority students. A Government Accountability Office study found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death from restraint and seclusion in school. They included a young teen who hanged himself in a seclusion room while a teacher sat outside and a 7 year old who was restrained face down and died because she could not breathe. The GAO documented at least 20 stories of children who died from restraint. Other children suffered injuries, including broken bones and bloody noses, or had post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act will promote a shift toward preventing problematic behavior through the use of de-escalation techniques, conflict management, mediation, and positive interventions and supports. The Centennial School in Pennsylvania, which serves children in 35 school districts, has cut the use of restraint and seclusion from well over 1,000 occurrences per year to less than ten through the use of positive supports. The bill will also require schools to promptly notify parents. Too many parents never find out what happened; 27 states have no parental notification requirements at all. The bills ban life-threatening restraints.
Please COSPONSOR THE KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT, S.2020 and H.R. 1381, to ensure that all children nationwide are protected from these abuses.
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