To continue her work of protecting students with disabilities, Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) again filed a bill that prohibits the use of seclusion in public schools and limits physical restraints to emergencies involving the safety of the student or others.

American Children’s Campaign strongly recommends improvements whereby districts would be required to train instructional personnel and aides in best practices with children with disabilities and provide additional continuing education in safe restraint procedures and de-escalation.

American Children’s Campaign and other advocacy groups continue to push to end the use of these unproven and harmful disciplinary practices.  When passed, Florida will join a long list of states that have enacted such restrictions.  In the immediate past legislative session, the effort went further than in previous years but didn’t make it over the finish line.

The use of physical restraints in Florida public schools is increasing. For the 2016/17 school year, there were 8,770 documented incidents of restraints, an uptick of more than 1,000 from the prior year. Nearly 50% of the restraints were used on young children (Pre-K – 3rd grade).

 

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This Top Story is brought to you by Roy Miller and Karen Bonsignori