Sample Letters

Below are letters and position statements from individuals and organizations to support specific efforts to reduce and eliminate the use of restraint and seclusion. These letters are provide here as examples of the types of letters you may want to ask your local organizations to write to support your efforts.

Letter from Dr. Peter Leone

My experience as a direct service provider, researcher, and scholar has taught me that isolation or seclusion of children with significant learning and behavioral needs, has no place in the schools.

Dr. Peter Leone
Professor

Letters from COPAA

Restraint and seclusion have no efficacy and are dangerous; causing trauma, injury and death. National data indicates that students with disabilities are roughly 20 times more likely than their peers without disabilities to be restrained and/or secluded. No child should intentionally be subjected to traumatizing and dangerous behavior in school.

Denise Marshall
Executive Director

Seclusion is an aversive intervention that compromises health and safety. In fact, all data show that use of seclusion and the use of mechanical, chemical or restraints that restrict breathing have no efficacy, are dangerous; causing trauma, injury and death. No child should intentionally be subjected to traumatizing and dangerous practices in encourages the Board to revise the policy to prohibit the use of seclusion as well as the use of mechanical, chemical or restraints that restrict breathing.

Denise Marshall
Executive Director

Letters from Disability Rights Maryland

Restraint and seclusion are not educational practices. They are what staff do to students, often very young very vulnerable students and most often students with disabilities, when educational practices fail and there is a crisis.

Leslie Margolis
Managing Attorney

Currently, DRM is all to aware that restraint and seclusion are often used in situations when the “imminent serious physical harm” standard is not met, when school staff have escalated rather than de-escalated student behavior, or when school staff simply do not have the training to provide appropriate positive behavior supports to a student to prevent a crisis.

Leslie Margolis
Managing Attorney

Letter from The Arc of Southern Maryland

Avoid harsh policies and procedures, such as “zero-tolerance”, that lead to exclusion, injury, loss of education or involvement with the criminal justice system by implementing school-wide positive behavior support that includes students with disabilities to prevent or eliminate such situations.

Renee Seigley
Director of Development

Letter from the ACLU

The practice of restraining and secluding schoolchildren is not new and has been implicated in countless and often ongoing cases of severe, pervasive, and traumatic abuse across the country. Despite numerous studies, investigations, and governmental hearings at the state and federal level, too many of our schoolchildren continue to be subjected to actions by teachers, administrators, and other school personnel that threaten their health and safety.

Ronald Newman
National Political Director

Statement from the United Nations

Also calls upon States to take all measures and exercise due diligence to prevent children with disabilities, on an equal basis with other children, from being subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or violation of their physical and mental integrity, including through forced sterilization, forced abortion and forced contraception

United Nations
Human Rights Council

Authors

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