Restraint and Seclusion Bill Reintroduced in Congress
On Thursday, May 18, 2023, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) reintroduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA), a bill that aims to protect students from harmful restraint and seclusion practices and support professional development on evidence-based behavioral supports. KASSA would ban seclusion in any school that receives federal funds and significantly limit restraint by banning mechanical, chemical, or any physical restraints that restrict breathing or blood flow to the brain or are otherwise life threatening and banning its use as a planned intervention strategy. Restraint would only be allowed in circumstances where staff must protect students or personnel from imminent danger of serious physical injury.
The bill also includes funds to train and certify staff on safely conducting restraint interventions and increase state and local capacity to improve school climate. A fact sheet about the bill notes “The vast majority of students (78 percent) subjected to seclusion and restraint have a disability and are disproportionately boys (82 percent), with Black students also disproportionately represented.”
CEC is a longstanding supporter of legislation that would ban seclusion and significantly limit restraint and has endorsed this bill.
To learn more, go here.