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Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is...any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.


Rate of Physical Restraints in Schools is Alarming


Let's cut to the chase on the practice of physically restraining special-needs students in public schools. It's happening far too often in Central Florida. Administrators know it. Parents know it. And something's got to give. Nobody is satisfied with the image of teachers and administrators holding a child's arms, pinning a child to the floor or, in extreme cases, strapping the child to a "wrap mat," a type of board used to immobilize a student.

Harkin Welcomes Administration Directions to Help Reduce Seclusion and Restraint
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the announcement by Education Secretary Arne Duncan of a new resource document aimed at reducing the use of seclusion and restraint practices in schools.
US Department of Ed Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint/Seclusion (5/15/12)

Parents Question Use of Seclusion Rooms
Please sign the petition found here http://www.change.org/petitions/suspend-seclusion-restraint. The school system uses seclusion and restraint exclusively against special education students. This is a violation of the student's Civil Rights, an official complaint has been filed by the parents of a 5 year old child and can be found at http://www.nc.fearfreeeducation.org.


Restraint and Seclusion: In your Child's School and Nationally


Students Traumatized in Special Education Across America, Seclusion, Restraint & Aversives From Psychology Today: Scream Rooms...when will America say enough is enough? Published on January 18, 2012 by Kymberly Grosso in Autism in Real Life

From SAMHSA: The Business Case for Preventing and Reducing Restraint and Seclusion Use
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a report entitled The Business Case for Preventing and Reducing Restraint and Seclusion Use. While many studies support reducing restraint and seclusion for well-being reasons, this is purportedly the first study to demonstrate the cost-savings associated with prevention. The report maintains that restraint and seclusion increase the cost of care and that other options should be used...

From TASH: The Path to Aversive Interventions: Four Mothers’ Perceptions

An interview was conducted with each of four mothers to gain an understanding of their perceptions of the educational and behavioral history of their children leading up to placement in a residential facility that used aversive interventions, including contingent electric skin shock.

From TASH: Use of Restraints, Seclusion, and Aversive Procedures on Students With Disabilities
A survey of a convenience (nonrandom) sample of parents and guardians of children with disabilities was undertaken to document the use of restraints, seclusion, and aversive procedures.
Sometimes Life "Socks" - A YouTube Video on the Use of "Body Socks"
From TASH: Shouldn’t School Be Safe? Working Together to Keep Every Child Safe from Restraint and Seclusion in School
Feds To Offer Schools Guidance On Restraint, Seclusion
The U.S. Department Of Education plans to offer school districts guidance on restraint and seclusion before the next school year begins, officials said Thursday, even as Congressional efforts on the issue continue to appear stalled.

IOWA 3 Schools Cited for Using Restraints on Unruly Kids

Some Iowa School Districts Still Non-Compliant with State Discipline Rules; Some teachers in three of Iowa's school districts have violated state rules that "limit the use of physical force and 'timeout' rooms to discipline unruly students." In 2008, the Iowa Board of Education received several complaints about the use of seclusion and restraint techniques to discipline unruly children. This prompted the board of education to establish limits for how and when teachers can "lock up" children. The rules also banned dangerous restraint methods, such as the choke hold. The new rules allow teachers to "hold down or confine students who are a threat to themselves or others, but physical force and timeout rooms cannot be used as punishment." Permission must also be granted from school administrators in order to confine a student for longer than 1 hour. State records show that three school districts in Iowa have violated these rules since the 2008 change. All of the children in the new cases had mental disabilities. School officials have recommended and agreed to train special education employees in the proper use of seclusion and restraint techniques.

Tennessee An in-depth look at Restraint and Seclusion practices in Tennessee Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
Disability Group Comes Out Against Restraint, Seclusion Bill
At least one disability advocacy group is now opposing a bill in Congress that they once championed after changes would allow restraint and seclusion to be included in students’ individualized education plans, or IEPs. In an e-mail to members on Monday, the head of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, or COPAA – a 1,200 member organization of special education attorneys, advocates and parents — said the group opposes the legislation in its current form because of the IEP provision and would like members of Congress to reconsider.
Torture in America's Schools
In May 2009, the Government Accountability Office issued a shocking report on "selected cases of death and abuse"--not at Guantanamo Bay or other detention facilities for terrorists, but at schools for American children: GAO also examined the details of 10 restraint and seclusion cases in which there was a criminal conviction, a finding of civil or administrative liability, or a large financial settlement. The cases share the following common themes: they involved children with disabilities who were restrained and secluded, often in cases where they were not physically aggressive and their parents did not give consent; restraints that block air to the lungs can be deadly; teachers and staff in the cases were often not trained on the use of seclusions and restraints; and teachers and staff from at least 5 of the 10 cases continue to be employed as educators.
Florida Florida 'gutted' child restraint bill of most important protections, mother of restrained child says
Port Orange Republican Dorothy Hukill's legislation restricting seclusion and restraint of Florida schoolchildren earned the state representative national notice. "Florida was going to be the model for other states to follow," said Lori Mcllwain, a spokeswoman for the 10,000-member American Autism Association.
Entitled "Torture, Not Treatment," this article details the so-called treatment methods (literally torture) used at the Judge Rotenberg Center on students with disabilities - many of them school-aged children. The author calls on the Obama Administration to end these practices, claiming they are more horrendous than the torture inflicted upon terrorists.
Important Notice: The Ask the Experts podcast: "Restraint and Exclusion in our Schools: Congress Responds" sponsored by the Advocacy Institute will be the feature subject for the Friday, September 10 posting in the Education Week blog - On Special Education at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/.
Important Notice: Visit http://capwiz.com/ndsccenter/issues/alert/?alertid=14660126 to see what you can do NOW. Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion Bill Passes Committee Your Advocacy is Needed! The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247) passed the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor by a vote of 35-10. Thank you for your advocacy work. Posted (September 5, 2010)
Important Notice: APRAIS Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, S. 2860 Issue Brief: Federal Law Should  Bar Restraint and Seclusion as Planned Interventions in IEPs and Other Education and Behavior Plans. (Posted September 3, 2010)
Important Notice: The Advocacy Institute has just posted a new PODCAST with 3 leading experts on this topic. It is available here along with a timeline of the activities undertaken to date to pass federal legislation on the use of R + S in schools and end this practice. (Posted September 3, 2010)
Families Against Restraint and Seclusion (August 2010) presents the following testimonials received from parents and news articles from all over the United States about children harmed by school use of abusive restraint, seclusion and aversives.
New Jersey Families Against Restraint and Seclusion

This page last updated on Thursday 06 September 2012