Join me in welcoming Alexa Zagorites to the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint team. Alexa’s daughter Gigi has faced seclusion & restraint within a classroom setting since 2008. Since her daughter was diagnosed with a chromosome disorder when she was two years old it has been Alexa’s life mission to not only protect Gigi but any other person who’s different by societal standards.
It has not been an easy road for Alexa and Gigi. Over the years she often heard “are you sure that’s happening?” from family, friends and anyone who’d listen when she raised concerns about her daughter or her classmates facing mistreatment. Alexa knew restraint and seclusion were occurring but found it difficult to fight it alone.
Eventually, Alexa met other parents, allies, and advocates that wanted to join her in her work against restraint and seclusion. There is power in numbers, and Alexa was excited about joining forces with others to influence change. Alexa and her allies worked hard to get the first piece of legislation passed in the state of Virginia, Gigi’s Law. The team faced a lot of pushback and disagreement about the proposed bill, but it passed – a positive step in the right direction.
Alexa is quick to point out that the people she has met along her journey have kept her hopeful. She is convinced that we need federal legislation to protect children from these abusive and barbaric practices of restraint and seclusion.