PUNITIVE, EXCLUSIONARY DISCIPLINE IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, HARMFUL, AND UNNECESSARY.

Contact your legislators here to show your support for federal bills that can help end harmful, traumatic crisis management practices in school.

Federal Legislation

The Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act 2023 (H.R. 6202 / S. 3214 )

This bill would prohibit federal funds from being used to hire or maintain police in K-12 schools, diverting that funding toward other uses related to school safety within applicable grant programs. The bill would establish a $5 billion grant program to support the hiring of counselors, social workers, school psychologists, and other personnel. The grant would also support schools in implementing programs to improve school climate and move away from policies that criminalize students and push them out of school. States and school districts will have incentives to end the criminalization of young people, particularly Black and Brown students, Native American and Latino students, immigrant students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students and other marginalized students, and invest in creating safe and nurturing learning environments for all students.

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The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S.1750 / H.R. 3470)

This bill would prohibit any federally funded school from secluding a child or using dangerous restraint practices. It would provide oversight related to incidents of restraining students and equip school personnel with training to address school-expected behavior with evidence-based, proactive strategies. It would also increase transparency, oversight, and enforcement to prevent future abuse and death of students across the nation.

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Protecting Our Students in Schools Act (H.R. 3596 / S.1762)

This bill would prohibit the practice of corporal punishment in federally funded schools, establish numerous enforcement protections, and create a federal grant program for states and school districts to improve school climate and culture. Corporal punishment – the act of inflicting physical pain as a form of discipline – includes striking, paddling, spanking, and other forms of violence. Research convincingly demonstrates that corporal punishment is ineffective and physically, psychologically, and emotionally harmful.

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Ending PUSHOUT Act

Strengthens data collection related to exclusionary discipline practices in schools and discriminatory application of such practices, and prevents the criminalization and pushout of students from school as a result of educational barriers

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Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act 2022

Aims to prevent institutional child abuse, neglect, and death by first increasing oversight and data transparency of youth residential treatment programs that purport to provide ‘treatment’ to foster youth, children from the juvenile justice systems, youth with disabilities, migrant youth, and youth placed directly by their parents or mental health professionals. The prevalence of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse happening in youth residential programs have child advocates calling for more transparency within these institutions. Send your legislators a message showing your support for this bipartisan federal bill!

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Safe Schools Improvement Act (S.3105)

This bill would require schools to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. The bill would ensure schools focus on effective prevention programs in order to better prevent and respond to incidents of bullying and harassment both in school and online. Students, parents, and educational professionals would receive education regarding prohibited bullying and harassment and complaint procedures.

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California

State Legislation

California: (AB 2806) Child care and developmental services: preschool: expulsion and suspension: mental health services: reimbursement rates.

This bill would revise provisions relating to expulsion or unenrollment of a child from a state preschool program. It would require the respective departments and Child Care Providers United (CCPU) to establish a joint labor-management committee to discuss suspension and expulsion practices among family child care providers and make recommendations related to prohibiting the expulsion or suspension of a child. It would increase state data collection requirements, develop state guidelines and provide support for staff training for programs with high numbers of suspension and expulsion.

California: Eliminate Unnecessary Police Interaction in Schools (AB 1323)

Eliminates the mandate for schools to notify law enforcement regarding a broad range of student behaviors. Eliminates the criminal penalty for students for the “willful disturbance” of public schools and public settings. This legislation will empower schools to adopt non-punitive, supportive, trauma-informed and health-based approaches to student related behaviors and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

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California SB 483: Pupil rights: prone restraint

Aimes to prohibit the use of prone restraint, whereby a student is physically or mechanically restrained in a face down position, in California schools. Current state legislation allows prone restraint to be used in schools by trained personnel, stipulating that school personnel must observe the student for “any sign of physical distress” and that the student’s hands cannot be restrained behind their back. Senate Bill 483 expands on the protection of current legislation by banning all uses of prone restraint.

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Colorado

Colorado H B23-1191 Prohibits Corporal Punishment of Children

Prohibits a person employed by or volunteering in a public school, a state-licensed child care center, a family child care home, or a specialized group facility from imposing corporal punishment on a child. Corporal punishment is defined as the willful infliction of, or wilfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a child.

Colorado: Supportive Learning Environments for K-12 Students

Requires the Department of Education to collect data related to chronic absenteeism rates, the number of in-school and out-of-school suspensions, the number of expulsions, the number of students handcuffed or restrained, the number of referrals to law enforcement, and the number of school-related arrests. Requires the Department of Education to create school district profiles relating to school climate. Increases restrictions on the use of restraints. Provides additional training for school staff. Develops new policies regarding hiring, training, and evaluating school resource officers. Provide an additional $2 million to continue the expelled and at-risk student services program.

Connecticut

Connecticut: An act concerning special education (SB 1200)

Senate Bill 1200 includes many important provisions, including the elimination of seclusions and significant restrictions on the use of restraints in public and private schools. Additionally, no school employee is permitted to use physical restraint or seclusion as a planned intervention in a student’s behavioral intervention plan, Individualized Education Program or plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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Idaho

Idaho HB 281a: Act to revise provisions regarding classroom behavior and prohibit certain disciplinary actions.

Aims to prohibit corporal punishment as a classroom punishment method, prohibit restraint and seclusion as a form of discipline, clarify that restraint and seclusion can only be used in emergency situations, require the state department of education to prepare resources and training for staff, and require all school districts, public charter, and private schools to have a restraint and seclusion policy.

Missouri

Missouri: The School Suspension Act

Requires school districts and charter schools to document school suspensions and report suspensions to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education annually. Requires school districts to include on the annual report card data related to school discipline including in and out of school suspension, removal of students with disabilities, and expulsions. Requires school boards to consider alternative methods to suspension. Prohibits suspension for truancy, absences, or prior offenses. Prohibits suspending students in preschool to 3rd grade.

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New York

New York: The Judge Judith S. Kaye Solutions Not Suspensions Act

Prohibit suspensions for students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade and shorten the maximum length of suspension for all students (except applying with applicable Federal law). Require schools to provide suspended students academic instruction and the ability to earn credits. Require schools to use proven alternatives to suspensions.

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New York: The Keeping All New York Students Safe Act AO 3311

Aims to prevent and reduce the use of seclusion and physical restraint in schools; prohibits the use of seclusion, mechanical restraint, chemical restraint, and dangerous restraints that restrict breathing on students; authorizes annual appropriations to provide grants to school districts; and provides for more rapid notice to parents if restraints or seclusion is used on a student.

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma: Prohibits the Use of Corporal Punishment with Students with a Disability in Public Schools (HB 1028)

All public school personnel will be prohibited from using corporal punishment on any student who has an identified disability. Corporal punishment is defined as deliberately inflicting physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.

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Oregon

Oregon: Senate Bill 790:Relating to violations of laws prohibiting harming students; amending ORS 419B.005; and declaring an emergency.

Modifies definition of “abuse” for purposes of child abuse to include violations of existing laws prohibiting infliction of corporal punishment and use of restraint and seclusion on students.

Vermont

Vermont: The Keeping Vermont Students Safe by restricting the use of restraints and seclusion in schools (HB 409)

Aims to prohibit the use of physical restraints and seclusions in a school or educational program that receives public funds from the state. If physical restraints or seclusions are used, the legislation would require reporting and documentation as required by the State Board of Education. The bill would also require the Agency of Education to develop and implement a performance review system to define and monitor the use of physical restraint and seclusion, as well as provide training for school personnel in evidence-based programs that reduce the likelihood of physical restraint and seclusion.

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Washington

Washington: An Act Relating to Restraint or Isolation of Students in Public Schools and Educational Programs (HB 1479 and SB 5559)

Would prohibit schools, including any programs providing education services, from isolating/secluding any student, restrict the use of restraint on a student, and improve transparency by expanding documentation and data practices.