Legislation seeks better control over child restraints in school

March 11, 2010

Legislation recently passed by the House seeks to protect children from the misuse of restraints and seclusion in classrooms.

The Keeping All Students Safe Act (H.R. 4247) was drafted in response to a report (.pdf file) released by the Government Accountability Office last spring detailing incidents in which children were injured or killed as a result of improper restraint measures enforced by untrained school staff. In some cases children were restrained with ropes, duct tape, straps and bungee cords.

The legislation would prohibit school staff from restraining or secluding children unless a threat of imminent danger exists. Mechanical restraints (such as straps and tape) and chemical restraints would be prohibited. Further, any measures would need to be conducted by trained staff, and parents would need to be notified immediately of any incident that resulted in the restraint or seclusion of their child.