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]

A letter to the Katonah-Lewisboro School District Board of Education

I am writing to you today on behalf of the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint (AASR). AASR is a community of over 14,000 parents, self-advocates, teachers, school administrators, paraprofessionals, attorneys, related service providers, and others working together to influence change in the way we support children who may exhibit behaviors of concern. The mission of AASR is to educate the public and to connect people who are dedicated to changing minds, laws, policies, and practices so that restraint, seclusion, suspension, expulsion, corporal punishment, and other abusive practices are eliminated from schools across the nation and beyond. Our vision is safer schools for students, teachers, and staff. 

Behavior is communication, but what does the body tell us?

In this article, we are going to explore the meaning beneath the statement, “Behavior is communication.”  These words have been ringing in educators’ ears for quite a while, and cognitively we understand this, but do we feel what this means as we interact with our students all day long? 

12 Recommendations for the Office of Civil Rights

The United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights published a request for information regarding the nondiscriminatory administration of school discipline. This is an opportunity to feedback related to the use of restraint, seclusion, suspension, expulsion, and corporal punishment. Below are twelve recommendations that we have shared with the Office of Civil Rights and … Continue reading 12 Recommendations for the Office of Civil Rights

A response to OCR’s request for information regarding the administration of school discipline

re-K through grade 12. OCR solicits these comments to inform determinations about what policy guidance, technical assistance, or other resources would assist schools that serve students in pre-K through grade 12 with improving school climate and safety, consistent with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces, to ensure equal access to education programs and activities. OCR has promulgated regulations to implement civil rights laws and periodically provides policy guidance and technical assistance to clarify these statutory and regulatory requirements. Information received through this request may be used to assist OCR in preparing further guidance, technical assistance, and other resources.

Sanctioned Violence: Restraint Use in Indiana Medicaid Waiver Settings 

Restraint is currently a hot topic with the media and lawmakers alike due to the recent deaths of people in custody at the hand of police officers.  There are calls across the nation for police departments to ban the use of chokeholds and other dangerous restraints.  But, what about restraint use in other settings besides law enforcement? Police aren’t the only ones to use restraint on the job.  For instance, staff members who work with kids and adults with developmental disabilities use restraint.  Can something like the restraint-related asphyxiation deaths of George Floyd, Hector Arreola, Muhammad Abdul Muhaymin, and Elijah McClain happen to someone with developmental disabilities in a residential, sheltered workshop, or day program setting in Indiana?  Absolutely.  

Sample Letters


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