Our Team

We are a small, but fierce, team of parents, advocates, educators, and other working to effect change, but we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Guy Stephens

Maryland, United States
He/Him/His

Founder and Executive Director

Guy lives in Southern Maryland with his wife and two amazing children. Guy started The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint to raise awareness about the use of restraint and seclusion in classrooms across our nation. He has been meeting with local, state and federal lawmakers to support legislation to ban seclusion in schools across the nation.

More about the Executive Director

Guy Stephens is a lifelong resident of Maryland, a father, a husband, and an advocate for children’s rights. His journey in advocacy began as a parent, advocating for appropriate accommodations and supports for his neurodivergent son. In 2018 Guy completed the Parents’ Place of Maryland’s LEADers training, a parent leader program to develop leadership skills among parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. In 2019 Guy completed the Maryland Coalition of Families Family Leadership Institute (FLI) a 60-hour intensive training program for parents and caregivers of school-age children with mental health needs. Guy is currently a member of the Board of Directors for The Arc of Maryland. Guy is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and presented at their 2020 annual conference. Guy is actively working to change policies and practices around the use of restraint and seclusion at the local, state, and federal level.

Guy is the Founder and Executive Director for the ​Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint (AASR). Restraint and seclusion are outdated crisis management techniques used in schools across the nation. These interventions disproportionately impact disabled, Black, and Brown children. The practices are dangerous and can lead to significant trauma and injuries to students, teachers, and staff. AASR’s mission is to educate the public and connect people who are dedicated to changing minds, laws, policies, and practices so that restraint and seclusion are reduced and eliminated from schools across the nation. AASR believes that our schools should be moving towards neurodevelopmentally informed, trauma-sensitive, biologically respectful, relationship-based ways of understanding, and supporting all students.

Guy believes that we can do better for all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and if we can we must. He understands that we need to embrace neurodiversity and neuroscience to create safe and inclusive environments to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.


Jennifer Garzia 

Florida, United States
She/Her/Hers

Program Manager

Jennifer has a degree in Psychology & Education from Widener University. Her first son was diagnosed at birth with Prader-Willi and XYY. After nearly a decade of the school-based restraints and seclusion, Jennifer felt an obligation to bring awareness and change to outdated laws to ensure that every student’s educational experience is met with safety & dignity.


Our Volunteers

Our work would not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers. Our volunteer team is dedicated to reducing and eliminating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools across the world.


Jasmyne Arianna 

California, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Jasmyne is a former at-risk youth and survivor who now advocates against institutional abuse, highlighting the systemic oppression of marginalized groups. Her son’s autism diagnosis led her to educate herself and advocate against seclusion and restraint. She also works with the National Youth Rights Association and is currently working toward a degree in child development.


Alexander J. Campbell

Virginia, United States
He/Him/His

Volunteer

Alex is an advocate for students with disabilities and the Executive Director of Campbell Advocacy. Alex is an individual who has autism and an amazing self-advocate. When he was in elementary school, he was subjected to restraint and seclusion for disciplinary reasons. In 2014, Alex began advocating for the need to regulate the use of restraint and seclusion.


Anna Cook

District of Columbia, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Anna is a parent advocate who works with families to provide support, community, and education to caregivers of children with disabilities. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Education Policy and Leadership and intends to create policies centered around improving inclusion and accessibility, dismantling ableism, as well as trauma-informed practices.


Sheena Cureton

Kentucky, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Sheena has worked with children for 20 years. She discovered that teachers in her son’s Pre-k classroom were secluding not only her son but other children as a form of punishment. Seeing firsthand the changes in her son and the trauma it caused, she stopped working for the schools and began advocating. She founded Myrelateus, a resource outlet for special needs and Autism.


Ann Gaydos

Colorado, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Ann worked in the software industry in a previous life but decided to home school her four children after her oldest child was repeatedly hurt by inappropriate and abusive restraints and seclusions in public school, and she could get no help from the administration or school board. Ann enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, writing, and spending time with her family and pets.


Chantelle Hyde

New Brunswick, Canada
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

With the support of her husband Sheldon, Chantelle became an active advocate against restraint and seclusion after learning that their daughter was being locked in a room at school in rural New Brunswick. Chantelle’s path to advocacy was paved by her desire to be a part of a community of support for other families. Chantelle hopes to bring positive change to the systems in Canada.


Emily LaMarca

Massachusetts, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Emily began her advocacy work when her son Cole was born fifteen years ago with Down syndrome. At the age of ten, Cole was repeatedly restrained and secluded in his Massachusetts Elementary School. When learning that Cole’s story was not his alone, Emily knew it was important to focus her advocacy efforts on working to eliminate these dangerous and traumatic practices.


Courtney Litzinger

Pennsylvania, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Courtney earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has spent over 15 years dedicating her professional life to the human services field, working with individuals with both intellectual and physical disabilities. She is the mother of 3 amazing children, the oldest of whom is Autistic. Her goal is to support the removal of barriers for families in their communities.


Sam Maloney

New York, United States
He/Him/His

Volunteer

Sam is a self-advocate who is against the use of restraint and seclusion and a supporter of the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Sam was diagnosed with autism at age three. Sam was restrained when he was just five years old until he was fourteen. Sam runs his own photography business.  Sam also works to shift the way people think about autism: from “awareness” to “acceptance.”


Sarah McPartland

Washington, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Sarah is an elementary school teacher by trade. Sarah is also the parent of two children.  One of her children was restrained six times in two months. Sarah’s other child developed anxiety around her sibling’s experience and a fear of going to school. As a result, Sarah left her job to help her children heal from trauma and advocate for change in the educational system.


Amer Moosa

Maryland, United States
He/Him/His

Volunteer

Amer has a master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University. He is a native of Washington DC and lives in Potomac, Maryland. He believes that all students with disabilities should be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. Amer is committed to bringing change in legislation that will abolish restraints and seclusion.


Teresa Olafson

North Dakota, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Teresa is an amazing parent, professional nurse, and advocate. Teresa is guided by the belief that we should not have to change our children to fit the world. Teresa believes that we must change the world for our children. Teresa believes that it is our responsibility to empower and advocate for our children’s needs through collective and purposeful actions. 


Gail Quigley

Gold Coast, Australia
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Gail has been a passionate educator for 35 years and has worked in a multitude of roles. Gail is fiercely passionate about shaping our schools to ensure that every student is understood, safe, and able to succeed no matter what their needs. Gail is currently completing a Doctorate Candidature, researching the intersection of complex trauma and disabilities in school aged children.


Maggie Raynack

Ohio, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Maggie is an autistic, bipolar, ADHD, and PTSD disability advocate and victim of seclusion and restraint. Maggie’s goals are: to bring more awareness about the dangers and deadliness of seclusion and restraint through art and writing; to encourage others to speak up; and to end seclusion and restraint forever.  Maggie also recently wrote her first book.


Imene Bouziane Saidi

Massachusetts, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Imene is a recent graduate from the Social Impact MBA program at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University concentrating in Child, Youth and Family Services. Through advocacy, Imene seeks to create impactful systemic changes to better serve and support the disability community’s needs by centering their voices every step of the way.


Sara Jo Soldovieri

New York, United States
She/Her/Hers

Volunteer

Sara Jo is a Ph.D. student studying Inclusive Special Education at Syracuse University. Sara Jo is a trained 1-12 inclusive special educator. Her work centers students with low incidence disabilities in inclusive settings, inclusive higher education, education policy, de-centering whiteness within education, breaking down hierarchies with disability, and pre-service inclusive educator training.



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