Senator Harkin introduces bill to protect students from seclusion and restraint practices

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S. 2020, the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill to protect students from ineffective and dangerous seclusion and restraint practices in schools. The bill would prohibit locked and unattended seclusion, mechanical and chemical restraints, and physical restraints that restrict breathing. Physical restraints could only be used in emergency situations and could not be included in a student’s individual education program (IEP) or any other behavioral plan. Schools would have to conduct a debriefing with parents and the staff after restraint is used and states would be required to collect and report data on the occurrence of restraint and seclusion. The House passed a similar bill in 2010 that did not get any traction in the Senate. The Arc joined several other advocacy organizations in support of the bill.

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