Call to Action: Support The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S.2020 and H.R. 1381)
The Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin, and Congressman George Miller will protect children nationwide from restraint and seclusion in schools. A Government Accountability Office study found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death from restraint and seclusion in school. They included a young teen who hanged himself in a seclusion room while a teacher sat outside and a 7 year old who was restrained face down and died because she could not breathe. The majority of students in the GAO study had disabilities.
Please telephone or email your two Senators and your Congressional Representative and ask them to COSPONSOR the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Ask your friends, family members, and colleagues to send emails and call Congress. Congress needs to hear from many, many parents, self-advocates, advocates, family, friends, and the wider community. Every person is a voter. Be sure you ask them to “cosponsor” the bill.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONTACTING CONGRESS:
1. Call Congress at 202-224-3121 (TTY 202-225-1904). Ask for your Senators or Representatives. Then ask for the staff member who handles disability or education. We encourage you to call if you can.
2. To email your Senators, go to www.senate.gov and choose your state at the top. This page will give you links to your Senators’ email contact forms. Please contact them both. To email your Representative, go to www.house.gov and put your zip code into the upper right corner. This will bring up a screen with your Representative’s name and a small email icon you can use to access his/her email contact form.
Here is a sample e-mail that you can use as a starting point or as talking points if you make a phone call.
Find out more about this issue:
For more information about this alert, please contact
Jessica Butler, Congressional Affairs Coordinator, Autism National Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org
GAO, Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers, GAO-09-719T (May 19, 2009) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-719T
Jessica Butler, Unsafe in the Schoolhouse, Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, Inc: http://www.copaa.org/pdf/UnsafeCOPAAMay_27_2009.pdf
The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS) website, which includes substantive research and also advice for parents/advocates: aprais.tash.org.