(National Autism Association)
December 19, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC– [Excerpt provided by Inclusion Daily Express] A federal bill introduced Friday to protect school children from dangerous, and sometimes deadly, restraint and seclusion practices has the support of the National Autism Association.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), provides long-overdue protections to students across the country by prohibiting restraint and seclusion techniques that compromise health and safety.
It's estimated that over the last five years, more than 200 students, many with disabilities, have died due to seclusion and restraints being used in schools. A 2009 Government Accountability Office investigation reported that thousands of students have been physically injured and emotionally traumatized as the result of restraint and seclusion in public schools, and noted specific cases where students died from "mechanical compression to the chest," or "smothering."
The study outlined a sampling of other cases, including one schoolchild who died from hanging himself in a seclusion room, a four-year-old girl who was tied to a chair and abused, five children who were duct-taped to their desks, and a ten-year-old boy who was put in a seclusion room "75 times over a 6-month period for hours at a time for offenses such as whistling, slouching and hand-waving."
"Students with autism and other disabilities are at significant risk for regression, emotional trauma, injury and death as a result of these harmful practices," states NAA President Wendy Fournier. "Aversive interventions, restraint, and seclusion carry no therapeutic value, and basic protections are a must. We applaud Senator Harkin for introducing this critical piece of legislation."
National Autism Association Applauds Harkin Bill to Protect Students from Restraint and Seclusion (National Autism Association)
Chairman Tom Harkin Introduces Keeping All Students Safe Act (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates)
Keeping All Students Safe Act