February 5, 2015 – Seclusion and Restraint in public schools

Legislation requiring the state Department of Education to develop regulations concerning the use of restraints in public schools is moving quickly through both houses of the Virginia General Assembly.  The bills require the regulations to include definitions, criteria for use, restrictions for use, training requirements, notification requirements, reporting requirements, and follow-up requirements when seclusion or restraint are used.  Under the proposed bills, the regulations must address distinctions in emotional and physical development and must be based on the Fifteen Principles contained in the U.S. Department of Education’s Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document.   

SB 782 (Favola) was approved by the full Senate.  HB 1443 (Richard Bell) has been read in the House of Delegates  twice and will be before the House for a final vote today, Thursday, February 5. The bills are identical, but each must still pass to the other house after next week’s “crossover.”

Both bills are promoted by the Commission on Youth.  The Commission’s study on the issue relied heavily on research reported by the disAbility Law Center of Virginia, published as Unrestrained Danger

http://dlcv.org/unrestrained-danger-seclusion-and-restraint-in-virginia-public-school/

The mission of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia is, through zealous and effective advocacy and legal representation, to protect and advance the legal, human and civil rights of people with disabilities, to combat and prevent abuse, neglect and discrimination, and to promote independence, choice and self-determination by persons with disabilities.