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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Restraint of children in schools

Thanks to those who are reading this blog and thanks for your comments. There is a lot going on right now that should concern parents of all children. One of those things is restraint in public schools. This past week or so, the US House of Representatives passed a house bill that would govern how restraint is used in public schools. We already have a state law on restraint in Texas and some other states have similar laws. The Texas law allows restraint but only if there is an immediate danger of harm, the persons restraining have to be trained in proper techniques that will ensure everyone is safe, and any form of restraint requires same day parent notification and paperwork to the parent and state within 24 hours. However, many states have no law at all. If you are not aware of the dangers of restraint when it is not governed, just do a google search. Kids have been accidentally killed because they were restrained and their air flow was cut off. This is a matter of lives being saves. It would be nice it everyone knew what they were doing and exercised common sense, but that is just not the case. I absolutely do not want to get political, but part of the house voted for this bill and part voted against it. The part that voted against it cited wanting to limit government involvement in education as the excuse. Excuse me??? Since when is government not already involved in education (just think No Child Left Behind, government control of state testing, etc.). I think this is especially important for parents of children with autism, where the child's behaviors and motives might not always be completely understood. The bill did pass and it then went to the senate. The senate could vote on it or they could vote on their own version. However, many in the senate are against regulating restraint. They want to leave it up to the states to do it and they do not want government involvement. The problem is that the states are not doing it and kids continue to be at risk. If you are the parent of a school age child and you have any concern for this issue, please contact your state senator and let them know. They need to hear from parents. Whether it is a state issue or federal government issue probably really does not matter, as long as it is regulated in every state.

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