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.
Maryland, United States
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 Restraint and seclusion are outdated crisis management techniques used in schools across the nation.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.
Florida, United States
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 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.
California, United States
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
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.
District of Columbia, United States
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.
Kentucky, United States
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.
New Brunswick, Canada
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.
Massachusetts, United States
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.