Proposed act would prohibit from schools from using restraint, seclusion practices

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 8:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Attorney General Josh Kaul is urging Congress to pass an act that would make it illegal for schools receiving federal funds to place children in seclusion or use “dangerous” restraint practices.

The passing of the Keeping All Students Safe Act would ban isolated confinement and restraint practices, which Kaul and a coalition of 17 other attorneys general argue are inherently dangerous behavior interventions.

“Every student should be able to attend school in a safe environment,” said Attorney General Kaul. “This legislation would make kids safer, and it should be passed into law.”

Kaul and the group of attorneys general explained in a letter to Congress leadership that these intervention may worsen mental health conditions, cause more emotional trauma, possibly cause serious physical injury and even cause death.

Seclusion and restraint are meant to be last resort measures, the group of attorneys general claim, but said these options can sometimes be imposed in the absence of serious physical harm to punish or discipline students, or even be used for the convenience of staff.

The attorneys general continued, saying thousands of reports have said children, sometimes as young as five, have been put in empty rooms for hours at a time.

KASSA would not allow schools receiving federal funding to seclude children or use any restraint practices that are life threatening or could restrict breathing. The bill also prohibits using physicals restraints that are not advised by a student’s educational plan or one for their disability.

The attorneys generals joining Kaul come from states that include Illinois, Minnesota and New Mexico.

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