|Action||Promulgating new regulation governing seclusion & restraint in public elementary & secondary schools|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/19/2019|
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is clear that restraint and seclusion violate a child’s right to be free from degrading treatment or punishment. To continue along a path that does not provide full protections is a human right violation on the most vunerable people in our community. The views held by parents are not views that are held alone. The top humanitarian bodies in the world appose this behavior. Judicial reviews have been started in Europe against school districts that allow this behavior and the movement can be expected to be started here across America as more and more people learn of the legal challenges that are taking place internationally against this practice. I respectfully request that the VDOE and Board take into consideration that this is not acceptable practice to be used against children with disabilities. The regulations should be implemented with the additions parents are asking for with an aim of replacing the practice with a system that does fall within the United Nations Guidelines of fair treatment of Children and the treaties signed by the USA giving protections to people of Disabilities. I request the VDOE and the Board do not allow those who are attempting to delay or remove important protections that all our children need to succeed not only in school but in later life. There needs to be a full ban on prone and other restraints that cause death along with seclusion policies that cause PTSD and life long trauma, these are the effects and life long punishments which again are not allowed by the United Nations against our children. There are amazing teachers out there doing an amazing job everyday in our communities that have no need to use restrictive practices. All teachers should be provided with the correct training and supports in the classroom to aid them in what can be a stressful and challenging environment and I commend those teachers. I am sure many teachers would be sickened to know that what is being allowed has been condemned by the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the Child. That departments of educations are allowing it to continue with without a plan to remove the practice, and it taking over three years to put in place any meaningful protections in a timely manner while the practice is stopped. I know I would be upset if I was violating Human Rights in my work place but had a board who supervised me who had not notified me of such.
To see people claiming the financial burden that may be caused I would like to inform them that the burden of a International Human Rights Violations is a much bigger burden to carry. Clearly they are unaware of the Internationally treaties that oversee the protections of all human beings. The time to start the correct treatment of all children in Virginia is now. The time to make sure no deaths from restraint and seclusion is now. The time to place timely reporting and correct data reporting instead of low balling figures to the federal government is now. The time to start put in place new practices and budgets to cover these practices is now. The time to give the teachers and assistants in the classroom the funding, training and resources they need is now.
The behaviors which lead to children being restrained and Secluded manifest because of unmet needs. Happy children with a disability or not do not need to be restrained or secluded. There needs are not being met in public education and the VDOE need to make the changes so the behaviors are not present in the first place to warrant the practice being used. I commend all the hard working individuals who work so hard with our children every day and do it with kindness, compassion and skill. No more delays protect these children fully.