Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Email your House member TODAY to urge a YES vote for HB 2170

HB 2170 would become state law governing the uses of seclusion and restraints in our public schools. This issue has been around the Statehouse for nearly a decade, and it is time for it to be resolved.

Some schools have said they don't need a law, their policies are fine, to which we have said, this law is not written to address the majority of schools which do the right things, this law is written to make enforcement possible, with the weight of the law, for schools that do NOT do the right thing.

Others have said, why not just keep these as rules and regulations .. to which we have asked would we consider it OK for "rules" instead of "laws" to be in place when we, as adults, are improperly manhandled by someone else? The improper uses of restraints and seclusion are sometimes a result of school personnel not managing their own behavior, and the result -- in the adult world -- at a minimum would be the charge of battery, or worse.

Simply stated, there should be a law against practices which put children at risk. Now is the time to make it happen. Urge your member of the Kansas House to vote YES for HB 2170. Do so today, for the bill is on the house floor and could be acted on as early as tomorrow.


The following is a draft message proposed by the Disability Rights Center:

Hi, I am a voter in your House District. Substitute for HB 2170 will be voted on by the full House this week. Will you please vote YES on Sub. for HB 2170? Please let me know where you stand. I support this bill and I am following it with interest. 

Kansas parents have been waiting TEN YEARS for an effective policy to protect their children from the dangerous and deadly tactics of restraint and seclusion in public schools. 

This bill is a compromise. The underlying policy was originally written by staff at the Kansas State Department of Education. It is based on the current regulation, but it fixes the fatal flaws in that policy. This bill also follows the common-sense recommendations from the US Dept. of Education on restraint and seclusion. It is supported by Kansas families and 30 Kansas disability organizations. Even the Kansas Association of School Boards is neutral on the bill. The bill ensures accountability and school safety in a reasonable and fair manner. This bill would create common sense standards to protect students and teachers alike from the dangerous use of restraint and seclusion. It has no fiscal cost. 

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