Article being revised: “Preventing Harmful Restraint/Seclusion in Schools Act” –

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On Tuesday, July 13, we received the text of an article, “Preventing Harmful Restraint/Seclusion in Schools Act” by Jess Butler, Esq.  Jess is the Congressional Affairs Coordinator for the Autism National Committee (, was previously Chair of the Board of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, and co-chaired its Congressional Affairs efforts.

We published Jess’ article on Thursday, July 15. As we noted, “The article is a personal statement by Jess and reflects her views.”

On Saturday, July 17 2010, Jess sent this email about her article: “A few days ago, I sent out a message about the Senate bill about restraint and seclusion. I acted too hastily. There is no definitive amendment language in the bill yet and may not be for a while.” (emphasis added)

Because Jess decided to revise her article to more accurately reflect the status of Senate Bill 2860, we removed the text of her original article from the Wrightslaw site.

  1. We need continued advocacy in ALL school settings. Mandatory Crisis Prevention Intervention training and positive approaches would help reduce the use of “restraints.” Perhaps Congress could add an amendment that if any physical intervention/restraint is suggested, this mandatory training must be given and reviewed often.

    As issues arise in our government concerning education or special education, I hope there are enough strong advocates (like those who read this site) to not allow “politics” to govern decisions. The law needs to provide clear, attainable guidelines that are supported by solid legitimate research and supported by parents and professionals together. Most important is maintaining the INDIVIDUAL’s needs and the safety of all.

  2. @ Leslie: If this is a legitimate concern, then obviously I feel relieved that I contacted the senators. However, the “retraction” notice makes it seem like the amendment isn’t even in the works.

    I think what’s important is that we are provided accurate information, especially with regards to “calls to action.”

  3. Actually, Allison, that’s wrong. I heard that school districts are fighting hard to weaken the bill and allow schools to put restraint/seclusion in IEPs. I worked on the Hill until my daughter was born. Most Senate offices welcome calls from parents because they hear from districts all the time. They have a lot of staff. I just read an article that schools are lobbying hard on this provision and sending messages through their private networks. We need to call our Senators and tell them about S. 2860. Please Do Not Allow Restraint/Seclusion in IEPs! Go to to find your senators.

  4. The “hasty” posting of this article (or writing of it) was a bit irresponsible…well, very irresponsible. Some of us, obviously outraged at the implications of such an amendment, acted immediately to contact our senators and those listed, as well as advocate that many others do the same. If we constantly barrage our senators with untrue claims and “waste of time” communications, a “crying wolf” situation will result in which our senators are not sympathetic to any educational concerns. We must be careful, and I for one feel foolish for contacting so many senators last week!

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