Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Seclusion and Restraint Bill awaits Vote

March 16, 2015 1:29 PM | Anonymous

Last week, advocates testified in support of Sub. for HB 2170 before the Senate Education Committee.  KMHC co-signed joint testimony supporting the bill - read here.  The bill passed the House of Representatives 122-1.

The bill puts into statute rules for the use of seclusion and restraint and includes modifications recommended by the Kansas Association of School Boards.  The language incorporates many of the 2012 recommendations from the United States Department of Education (USDE) and regulations/policy of the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) in order to improve the current policy in Kansas and to better ensure the safety of children and teachers in public schools. 

  • The USDE recommendations are minimal standards.  The USDE acknowledges in its report that schools and states “may choose to exceed the framework set by the 15 principles” which make up its recommendations (see pages 12-13, “Restraint and Seclusion: A Resource Document,” USDE, 2012).
  • One key USDE recommendation the bill includes is standard of use for restraint and seclusion.  The bill clarifies the currently nebulous standard by adding the USDE language of threat of “serious physical harm to self or others.”  

Rocky Nichols, Disability Rights Center, has been coordinating this effort.  He believes the language of the bill is a middle ground between what the advocates and parents would prefer and reasonable language for the schools to implement.  The bill does not include all of the minimal standards and recommendations of the USDE report because it is a "fair compromise".    

 

However, there may be some opposition to the current language.  It is not clear when the bill will be worked by the Senate Education Committee.

 

Click here to contact members of the Senate Education Committee.  Simply click on the names of committee members.



(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604  785-969-1617

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