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Special Educators Support New Legislation on Restraint and Seclusion

March 15, 2010

The Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247), which would prohibit school personnel from using any physical interventions that would compromise the health and safety of a student, will serve to protect some of the nation's most vulnerable students -- children and youth with disabilities -- according to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

CEC, along with one of its divisions, the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD), played a key role in the bipartisan legislation that aims to protect children from misuse of restraint and seclusion practices. Both organizations have long been concerned with the issue of children who are being inappropriately secluded or restrained in the nation's schools. If used appropriately, restraint and seclusion can be effective tools when dealing with children with behavioral issues.

The legislation was introduced in December by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), a member of the committee and vice chair of the House Republican Conference, and is scheduled for markup today. It is the first national effort to address harmful restraint and seclusion.

"CEC applauds Chairman Miller and Rep. McMorris Rodgers for their leadership and supports this legislation to provide a unified system of support for children, youth, and professionals," said Deborah Zeigler, CEC's associate executive director for policy and advocacy services.

"CEC pledges to work with the field to assist in the implementation of this legislation and to continue to foster good evidence-based practices that will ensure that all students are protected from extreme and inappropriate use of physical restraint and seclusion in schools."



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