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Congressional Committee Considers Restraint and Seclusion Bill

02/02/10
by Wrightslaw

The House Committee on Education and Labor will mark up the Congressional restraint/seclusion bill this Thursday, February 4.  During mark-up, the Congressional Committee will consider the bill and any proposed changes, and vote on a bill to send to the House Floor.

Live Webcast: If you would like to hear the discussion about the bill, the mark-up 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:

http://edlabor.house.gov/markups/2010/02/preventing-harmful-restraint-a.shtml

The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (H.R. 4247) is the first national effort to address abuse of children in schools and ensure the safety of everyone involved – both students and school staff. It would establish minimum safety standards in schools and increase transparency and oversight.

Last Spring, the Government Accountability Office reported on hundreds of situations in which children were abused through restraint and seclusion in public and private schools across America.

There are 23 states which provide either little or no meaningful protection from restraint or seclusion by statute or regulation, see http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/restraint.regs.tablea.pdf.  There are no federal laws on restraint and seclusion that protect school children, even though those same children would be protected if they were in a hospital or other facility that receives federal health care funding.

Full Committee Mark-Up of H.R. 4247, The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act:

  • Thursday, February 4, 2009  11:00 a.m. ET
  • House Education and Labor Committee Hearing Room, 2175 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Webcast: The mark-up 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:
http://edlabor.house.gov/markups/2010/02/preventing-harmful-restraint-a.shtml

For more information about HR4247, see Wrightslaw’s comprehensive article, http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/restraint.hr4247.butler.htm

You can track HR 4247 as it moves through Congress through http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4247

To read the GAO report about restraint and seclusion, see http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-719T

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  • 1 Wrightslaw 02/04/10 at 6:19 pm

    This morning, the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (H.R. 4247) passed out of the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor by a vote of 34-10. H.R. 4247 would establish the first federal standards to protect students from misuse of restraint and seclusion, and ensure the safety of everyone in the classroom. The bill will now head to the House floor for a full vote.