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Virginia Special Education

Legislative Advocacy

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09/30/14 Action Alert: Tell Virginia to adopt safeguards to protect children in school

  • Did you know Virginia currently has no laws or regulations about when and how children can be restrained or secluded in public schools?
  • There are no regulations restricting restraint and seclusion to emergencies.
  • Virginia families do not even have the right to know if their child was restrained or secluded.

Learn more from the Virginia Coalition for School Safety. Speak Up for Students Across the Commonweath!

Proposed Regulations! (May 2013) Restraint, Seclusion and Use of Aversives: Proposed Virginia Regulations

Alert: Virginians:  Please Tell the Virginia Board of Education to Change Regulations Permitting the Use of Aversives, Prone Restraint, and Other Harmful Behavioral Practices upon Children in Private Schools

There is no reason to permit restraint that impedes breathing or impairs life, or the other practices. They are not effective and are dangerous. More

The full regulations are here:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2013/04_apr/agenda_items/item_f.pdf

The regulations will affect both private day and residential schools. The proposed regulations at issue are on pages 127-129 of the document. The Virginia Department of Education’s staff analysis of them is on page 34-37.  It describes their initial proposal and then the changes that they made.

It is important for Virginians to share their views with the Board by sending comments to the Virginia State Board of Education at BOE@doe.virginia.gov

Suggested Comments to The Virginia Board of Education. Here are some points about the proposed Virginia regulation that you may wish to make in your comment to the Board of Education.  You may wish to copy these comments or to change them as you would like.

Legislative Advocacy Alert May 14, 2013: Restraint & Seclusion


The use of restraints, seclusion and aversions will be addressed in proposed Regulations Governing the Operation of Private Schools for Students with Disabilities.

The proposed regulations –

  • Would allow the “application of aversive stimuli” such as introduction of foul or burning substances, deprivation of senses, and excessively loud sounds;
  • Would allow restraints that impede breathing (prone restraint);
  • Lacks clarity about when restraint and seclusion could be used which could result in their use in situations other than when there is imminent danger of physical injury and when less restrictive measures have failed or would be ineffective; and
  • Would allow the use of restraint and seclusion for “severe property damage that may result in personal injury."

The Virginia State Board of Education is planning to take final action on the proposed regulations during their May 23 meeting. The Board needs to hear from you now about these proposed regulations. The Virginia Coalition for Students with Disabilities is asking that Board action on the regulations be delayed until amendments to better serve and protect students are incorporated into the proposed regulations.

Please email the State Board of Education at BOE@doe.virginia.gov The Board needs to know that they should not delete current regulatory requirements that protect students from harmful restraints, seclusion and aversive interventions. The Board also needs to know that you believe that action should be delayed for comment.

The proposed regulations can be viewed at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2013/04_apr/agenda_items/item_f.pdf. Sections 8VAC20-671-640, 650 and 660 starting on page 127 are of particular interest.

On Monday, May 13, 9:00am the Virginia Department of Education will hold a Stakeholder Webinar on the proposed regulations for people with disabilities, parents and other advocates about the proposed regulations. You are welcome to join this webinar. Click the link below to join the webinar.


If you are not able to join the meeting through your computer, you can call: Toll-free: 1-866-8425779, Toll number: 1-832-4453763, Conference Code: 804 225 3252.

The Coalition is drafting comment on the proposed regulation which will be available early next week.

For more information, contact the Coalition at cward@endependence.org or 757-351-1585 or 866-323-1088.

Please share this information with other advocates.

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Last revised: 09/30/14
Created: 05/09/13

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