Recently, US Representative George Miller reintroduced legislation to protect students from harmful seclusion and restraint practices, and to ensure that educators have the skills to manage violent student behavior safely.
If passed, the Keeping All Students Safe Act will require all states to implement policies that limit the use of physical restraint
and seclusion in schools. It will also require that school staff be trained in safe and effective behavior management and crisis intervention techniques, and it may provide funding for states to implement its requirements.
This bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives before, and similar bills have been proposed in the Senate. Throughout the history of this legislation, CPI has worked with members of the House Committee on Education and Labor to ensure that the bill addresses the need to equip school staff with skill sets in crisis prevention, positive behavior support (PBIS), and other strategies that help avoid the need for restraint.
Improper use of restraint can result in injury, psychological trauma, or even death. Especially dangerous positions include facedown restraints and restraints that restrict a student’s ability to breathe.
It’s vital that educators have the skills to de-escalate aggressive behavior in a way that’s as safe as possible. Staff must be trained in prevention skills. And as the Keeping All Students Safe Act outlines, staff should receive ongoing training in how to use safer physical restraint techniques only as a last resort. Using safer techniques can reduce the possibility of injury for both students and staff.
When a student displays exceptionally violent behavior and poses an immediate danger to self or others, a staff member may deem physical restraint as necessary. However, the staff member should be trained, should monitor the student for signs of physical and emotional distress, and should stop the restraint as soon as the student no longer presents a danger. It’s also essential to debrief after the crisis so that everyone has a chance to process the event and to cope.
While many states have passed rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies to guide districts on the use of restraint and seclusion, there are still states with no rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies. The passing of this federal bill would mark the first federal standard on the issue and promote consistency among state policies.
Here at CPI, we are all passionate about the training and resources we provide. Many of our staff have worked in education and know what it’s like to deal with aggressive student behavior. They’re passionate about sharing our strategies because they know from experience how to increase safety with our techniques.
Every day, we talk to our Certified Instructors and hear and see the impact our training has on their lives and the lives of the people they support. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to know that what we do helps ensure Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security
℠ in schools and organizations throughout the US and across the globe. We will continue to monitor the bill’s development and encourage its passage in every way we can.
“That’s what I need as an educator to help me be more productive in the classroom.”
For more on how CPI training helps educators, watch this video with our own Jeff Schill, who writes our ASD Today
blog. Jeff is a former teacher and currently serves as our Director of Instructor Development.