Sunday, December 18, 2011

Educational Resource Sites for Parents

Shouldn't School Be Safe?

Working Together to Keep Every child Safe from Restraint and Seclusion in School

This publication was developed by parents and for parents in response to repeated requests for a practical guide to keeping our school children safe from restraint, seclusion and other aversive practices. While this problem has been most acute among children with disabilities, it is an issue of school safety that has the potential to affect ALL students, directly or indirectly, and one that all parents should know and care about.

Shouldn’t School Be Safe?
is divided into three sections:

addresses the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and behavior plan, your rights as a parent, and ways of increasing your and your child’s visibility and involvement in the school. Your child’s plan should be based on positive approaches and supported by caring relationships within the school and community. This is an essential foundation to prevent the use of restraint, seclusion or other aversive practices.

Vigilance identifies warning signs in the behavior of a child or the behavior of a school that may be associated with or alert you to the use of restraint and seclusion. No single sign or combination of signs is definitive, but their presence should prompt parents to take a closer look both at immediate signs of trouble, and also at what the child’s daily school experience is like.

Response, the third section, contains information that, hopefully, you will never need. It provides stepby- step actions you can take if you discover that your child has been restrained and/or secluded. Many possible contacts and actions are suggested because the process of finding help is not clear and simple. Across this country, there is only a poorly-made patchwork of laws and regulations that fails to adequately protect children. Parents are often told that the organizations or public agencies they contact lack the legal authority to step in and change what is happening, and that “there is no law” against restraining or secluding school children. Parents have had to become very creative and very persistent in finding solutions that protect their children, and must continue to work together to support each other and push for reforms.

Prone Restraint
means that the child is held horizontally in a facedown position.

Supine Restraint
means that the child is held horizontally in a face-up position.

involves forced isolation in a room or space from which the child cannot escape. Allowing a child to voluntarily take a break from activities is not considered seclusion.

Do not, under any circumstances, allow restraint, seclusion or other aversive practices to be specified and/or permitted through the IEP or BIP. Note: Parents are sometimes told that restraint and seclusion must be written into their child’s IEP to allow for emergency usage. This is not true. Schools do not need parental permission for the use of restrictive procedures on ANY student, whether or not they have an IEP, if that action is necessary to avert a highly dangerous, unforeseen emergency. It would be criminal negligence on the part of school staff to stand by and deliberately allow a student to be seriously injured or killed. However, once restraint and seclusion are in a child’s education plan, their use is considered approved, not merely as a one-time response to an unforeseeable emergency, but as an ongoing reaction to that child’s known and foreseeable or predictable daily “behavior.”


Educational Resource sites for parents

NICHCY (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities)

IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disability Education Act)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 22 in cases that involve 14 specified categories of disability.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Contents

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Team

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Meetings

NICHCYs publications are all available here, for free, on our website. Our publications cover the many topics related to children and youth with disabilities. We hope you find them helpful.

Wrightslaw - Special Education Law and Advocacy
See the full listing of topics on the left side of the homepage

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Functional Behavioral Assessments:
What, Why, When, Where, and Who?

Writing Functional Behavior Assessments and Positive Behavior Support Plans
Functional Behavior Analysis
Paper Trails, Letter Writing & Documentation

Procedural Safeguards & Parent Notice

Subscribe to The Free Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy topics.


Due Process Hearings

Military & Department of Defense (DOD) Special Education

Disability Organizations

TASH - Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities

COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates)

APRAIS (The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion)


Contact your local and United States Elected Officials


How do I file a complaint with my state Department of Education?
  • Google the question above but add your state. Example: How do I file a complaint with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) ?
  • Follow the instructions.
  • Always keep a copy for yor files.
Questions & Answers About the Office of Civil Rights (OCR's) Complaint Proces

Note: You cannot file both complaints at the same time (Department of Education and Office of Civil Rights).
Acronyms Frequently Used in Special/Gifted Education