Seclusion and restraint continue to be serious problems in public schools across America and here in Virginia. When students are subjected to seclusion or restraint, they can be harmed or traumatized, and they lose the opportunity to learn. A 2009 GAO report uncovered hundreds of cases of abuse and death related to the use of these methods on children in school. The data shows that students with disabilities are disproportionately subjected to these practices.
There is a better approach.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA) has been reintroduced in Congress to address this problem. This federal bill would prohibit schools from secluding any child or using dangerous physical restraints that restrict breathing or cause harm. KASSA would only allow restraint when needed to protect students and staff from serious physical injury.
The bill would also better equip school personnel with the training they need to address unexpected behavior with evidence-based proactive strategies. It would require certification for school personnel who use restraints.
While Virginia enacted regulations to govern the use of seclusion and restraint in schools in 2021, this federal bill provides more protections for students. It also provides funding to states to implement the law.
If you would like to ask Congress to pass this bill into law, you can click here and follow the links to contact your members of Congress.