National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Ending Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Howard TrachtmanAaryce Hayes LCSW, & Patrick Risser

This workshop will consist of lecture by presenters, handouts and feature brief video and time for questions by participants.    

Over 107,000 kids were subjected to physical restraint or seclusion rooms in schools during the years 2011 and 2012, according to Department of Education data.  Many  believe even these numbers are under reported. Peer advocates can be instrumental in identifying the use of R&S, teaching DOE Best Practices for alternatives, converting seclusion rooms into comfort rooms and doing systemic work to prevent further use of R&S.

Fortunately, there is Federal Legislation filed, the "Keeping All Students Safe Act" which would prevent the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.  Peer advocates have many ways to assist in ending restraint in seclusion, not just in schools but in hospitals and other settings. Peers can help by:

(1)  identifying the use of R&S;

(2)  teaching the Department of Education Best Practices for alternatives to restraint and seclusion;

(3) by being involved systemic-ally through NAMI's Advisory Committee on Restraint and Seclusion (Elimination) Committee and through their local Protection and Advocacy organization;

(4) by educating the public and helping people to contact their legislators; and

(5) converting seclusion rooms into comfort rooms. 

The workshop will give an overview of why types of R&S are used in schools today, the history of practice, how widespread it is and why schools say it is used. We will identify the dangers as kids have been injured and died from R&S. We will describe alternatives to its use and positive interventions that work such as the DOE's Best Practices.

We will explain how to get involved with protection and advocacy systems and advocate for this legislation at the Federal Level. We also will discuss how to get involved at the local community and school level.

Learning Goals and Objectives: 

1.       Participants will learn about the widespread use of restraint and seclusion in schools, the dangers and how to do individual and systemic advocacy (Protection and Advocacy systems and legislation) to prevent future use of R&S.

2.      Participants will learn US Department of Education Best Practices and other techniques and interventions as alternatives to the use of seclusion and restraint.

3.      Participants will learn how to support individuals and family impacted by seclusion and restraint.

4.      Participants will discover methods of teaching students negotiation skills and helping families identify the use of seclusion and restraint and their children.

5.      Participants will learn about the current status of state and federal laws related to restraint and seclusion.

6.      Participants will learn how to effectively use their personal stories to affect their legislators and how to engage in successful campaigns to make changes in laws.

Handouts /  Course Materials:

Concerns Related to the Department of Education Legislation Governing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

The State of Restraint & Seclusion in Ohio

Hope for Faith: The Need for Regulatory Reform Regarding the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Children’s Residential Facilities in Ohio

Link to brief presenter bios:

Howard Trachtman

Aaryce Hayes LCSW

Patrick Risser