Experienced restraint or seclusion?

While they can be difficult to share, our stories are critical for influencing change. Our stories help others to realize that they are not alone and that they too can influence change.

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]


African-American teenage boy with word STOP written on hand against dark background

What is the school-to-prison pipeline?

The school to prison pipeline is a term coined early in the early twenty-first century to refer to the policies and practices that directly and indirectly push students out of school and on a pathway to prison. These policies and practices include overuse of harsh school disciplinary procedures including suspension, seclusion, restraint, and expulsion; increased policing and surveillance that create prison-like environments in schools; referrals to law enforcement and the juvenile justice system, and an alienating and punitive high-stakes testing-driven academic environment that diverts students from the intended purpose of the public education system and deposits them in the correctional system.

Facebook Live: Training Series

I wanted to share that we are doing a Facebook Live training series. The idea began because of the challenges during the current COVID-19 crisis. Given the current situation across the world, many parents and caregivers now find themselves suddenly acting as educators for their behaviorally challenging children. We have heard from many parents, especially those with disabled and behaviorally challenging children that are having a difficult time. We wanted to help!

Introducing Cheryl Poe

Join me in welcoming Cheryl Poe to the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint team. Cheryl is an amazing advocate, teacher and parent with a tremendous background in special education.

Seclusion Changed Me Forever

365 days ago, I laid awake most of the night worried about the reverberations of the day ahead. I pulled myself out of bed and awakened my 13 year old son Quentin who was peacefully sleeping between my husband and I. I turned on our local NPR station, WAMU. As I went about the mundanities of my morning, I listened for my own voice in the reporting. I felt terror of the exposure and what others would think of me once my son’s story was told. I didn’t realize at the time that experience would begin a journey of both awareness about my son’s autism, and also a level of self-awareness I’d never had.

Making Positive Change Through Negative Experiences

The Story of Sam Maloney Today’s guest author is Debra Pierce Bellare.  Debra has a background in education with a focus on alternative learning. Over the last ten years, she has been advocating to stop the harmful practice of restraint and seclusion used in the public and private school systems in New York State. Her son Sam, … Continue reading Making Positive Change Through Negative Experiences


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