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NBC News: Congress to consider bill on restraint/seclusion in school

May 26, 2021, NBC News: Bill heading to Congress to ban seclusion, restraints in school

Congressional Democrats will introduce a bill to make it illegal for any school receiving federal funding to use seclusion or dangerous restraints on students. The Keeping All Students Safe Act would bar school personnel and police stationed on campus from physically restraining students in potentially life-threatening ways, like restricting their breathing or using a prone or supine restraint. Non-life-threatening restraint tactics — except prone or supine — may be used if the student "poses an imminent danger" to themselves or those present. … Versions of the bill have been introduced since 2009 as experts said seclusion and forceful restraints could traumatize children and lead to injuries or death. The reintroduced law would provide "developmentally appropriate" training and require states to monitor the law's implementation. School personnel and police would have to undergo state-approved crisis intervention training administered by the Department of Education. "Despite evidence that seclusion and restraint practices make schools less safe, thousands of students are still subjected to these dangerous discipline methods," said Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. "Students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by these harmful practices. A quality education cannot be achieved without a safe learning environment." … There are no federal laws governing how seclusion and restraints can be used in schools, and there are no sweeping federal laws with specific guidelines for police use of force on children in general. Advocates and organizers working to have police fully removed from schools note that many interactions between Black children and police occur in schools, and those with larger Black and Latino populations are more likely to have police officers in the halls, metal detectors and security cameras. Thus, organizers have demanded for years that federal officials stop pouring millions of dollars into school policing programs. …


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