NDRN adopts position on Senate version of restraint and seclusion bill

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) adopted the recommendation of its Legislative Committee for NDRN’s position on Senate Bill 3895, the new Senate version of legislation concerning restraint and seclusion in schools. The statement reads:

“This legislation responds to a critical need identified by the P&As [Protection & Advocacy Systems] and NDRN for strong, consistent national standards regarding the use of restraint and seclusion. While NDRN recognizes that there are reservations about allowing restraint and seclusion in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), we believe that the criteria contained in this legislation for when these interventions can be utilized or written into an IEP are sufficient to ensure this occurs only in very limited circumstances. On balance, the benefits of establishing national standards, together with creating a threshold for their enforcement, outweigh the ever present risks that restraint and seclusion will be misapplied. Therefore, we support this legislation and believe it should be passed.”

Earlier this week, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) informed Congress that the group opposes the current version of Senate Bill 3895 because of the IEP provision. However, COPAA’s objections don’t recognize that currently there are no restrictions over the use of restraint or seclusion in an IEP. While the House version is preferable, the standard set by the Senate bill is a significant step forward. COPAA is one of only few groups to oppose the bill.

NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated P&A Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for people with disabilities.

TTARP COMMENTS: We are firm believers that this is not an issue that the Federal Government, not a Federal one. This is not an issue that the Federal government should be micro-regulating. Civil rights violations are covered and extended to states via the 14th amendment. Civil rights violations are covered and extended to schools under Federal jurisdiction via the 5th Amendment. The safety, security and treatment of children should be managed at a local and family level. Safety and treatment has traditionally been a local issue reserved for state and local oversight.

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