A twenty-first century approach to supporting all students

We can better support all children while eliminating restraint, seclusion, and other harsh disciplinary practices. Read this new research article to learn more.

Seclusion and restraint

Restraint and seclusion are crisis management strategies that are used in many schools across the nation and the world. Physical Restraint, is exactly what it sounds like, it is a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs or head freely. Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. These interventions are dangerous and have led to serious injuries and even death in students, teachers and staff.

According to federal guidance restraint and/or seclusion should never be used except in situations where a child’s behavior poses an imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others, and restraint and seclusion should be avoided to the greatest extent possible without endangering the safety of students and staff. The important wording here is “serious physical harm”, these measures are not intended merely for unsafe situations, but rather to situations that could result in death or serious bodily injury. As such based on federal guidance restraint and seclusion should be exceedingly rare. However, it has been found that restraint and seclusion are occurring far more frequently in schools across the nation and are not always limited to situations that involve imminent serious physical harm. [Read More]

This is Paige’s story

Restraints and seclusions are gateways to physical and emotional abuse, especially in the absence of adequate oversight. Unfortunately, our former school district failed to provide a safe classroom environment for my seven-year-old autistic daughter, Paige, when she joined a multi-grade special day class at Eisenhower Elementary, a school within the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) in California. The district allowed her teacher to treat Paige and other children illegally, abusively, and inappropriately. I wish I had simply homeschooled her from the start.

Seclusion: We can and must do better

A recent post on social media elicited a response from an individual, who indicated that they has 25 years experience in the field of education, who seemed to disagree with our assertion about seclusion rooms which stated: Nothing is calming about a seclusion room. Children don’t learn to self-regulate by being thrown into an empty … Continue reading Seclusion: We can and must do better

Attention Ticket: A strategy to reduce attention scatter in remote and hybrid learning environments

This article aims to offer a tool to avoid losing students online when hybrid learning is the operative mode. To achieve that, first I’ll set the stage – or context – for the current need for this novel tool. Second, I’ll state the reasons why this tool might prevent losing what is fundamental for learning and why it is different from other tools in use. And third, I’ll give you some examples for those in Education, especially in Early Childhood Education Centers (ECECs), to put the tool into use.  

Reintroduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act

We think it is critical that it be illegal for any school to seclude children and use dangerous restraint practices that restrict children’s breathing, such as prone or supine restraint.  We think it is important to better equip school personnel with the training they need to address trauma and stress behaviors.  We also think that it is important for parents to have a right to take legal action when unlawful restraint or seclusion occurs. KASSA is a strong step towards protecting the civil and human rights of all students.

What Our Nervous Systems Will Need When School Begins

As we reflect upon our current educational landscape and the social and emotional implications of the pandemic over the past 15 months, we are already seeing the critical impact of this collective trauma on so many of our students, educators, and families! Elevated levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation were reported by adults in the United States in June 2020. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety disorder was approximately three times those reported in the second quarter of 2019 (25.5% versus 8.1%), and prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times that reported in the second quarter of 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%) (CDC) Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them.

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