On Thursday, February 4th, the House Education and Labor Committee will consider legislation that will protect schoolchildren from harmful uses of restraint and seclusion in their classrooms.
A recent investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found hundreds of allegations that children have been abused, and some even died, as a result of misuses of restraint and seclusion in public and private schools, often at the hands of untrained staff. Unlike in hospitals and other medical and community-based facilities that receive federal health funding, there are currently no federal laws addressing restraint and seclusion in schools.
The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (H.R. 4247) is the first national effort to address this troubling problem and ensure the safety of everyone involved – both students and school staff. It would establish minimum safety standards in schools and increase transparency, oversight and enforcement to prevent future abuse, among other things. Learn more here: http://edlabor.house.gov/blog/2009/12/preventing-harmful-restraint-a.shtml.
WHAT: Full Committee Mark-Up of H.R. 4247 “The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act”
WHEN: Thursday, February 4, 2009
11:00 a.m. ET
WHERE: House Education and Labor Committee Hearing Room
2175 Rayburn House Office Building
Note: This hearing will be webcast live from the Education and Labor Committee website. You can access the webcast when the hearing begins at 11:00 am Eastern here.
Committee members are listed here: http://edlabor.house.gov/about/members/. There are no committee members from Missouri, but if you are a constituent from another state, please contact your Congress person before Thursday. Let them know how important this piece of legislation is to you, and also bring up any items in the bill that you would like changed or strengthened.
Go here for general information on areas that can be improved: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/restraint.hr4247.butler.htm