On December 9, 2009, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247) in the House. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced similar legislation in the Senate (S. 2860). NAMI applauds these federal legislative leaders for their commitment to protecting children and to ending the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.
The inappropriate and harmful use of restraint and seclusion has disproportionately impacted students with disabilities, including those with mental illness. This legislation is long overdue and is vitally important to protect the health and well-being of students with mental illness.
The federal legislation contains a number of provisions that prevent the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion by establishing minimum safety standards in schools in a number of areas, including the following:
The legislation also requires states to develop their own policies, procedures, monitoring and enforcement systems related to the use of restraint and seclusion. They must also collect and report data annually to the U.S. Secretary of Education.
You can learn more about this legislation by visiting the Committee on Education & Labor Web site.