The Keeping Vermont Students Safe by Restricting the Use of Restraints and Seclusion in Schools Act (HB 409) aims to prohibit the use of mechanical, chemical and physical restraints – including prone and supine restraints – and seclusion in a school or educational program that receives public funds from the state. If physical restraints or seclusions are used, the legislation proposes to 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. Mechanical restraint means the use of a device to restrict a student’s freedom of movement. Physical restraint means a personal restriction that immobilizes a student’s arms, legs, torso, or head freely. Seclusion means the isolation or confinement of a student alone in a room or clearly defined area from which the student does not feel free to go or is physically denied exit.
Increasing evidence shows that restraint and seclusion are ineffective and cause significant emotional, psychological and physical harm, including death. Send an email to your state legislators now to let them know where you stand on this issue! Personalizing the message increases its impact.