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House Approves Legislation on the Use of Restraint & Seclusion Practices in Schools

The Connecticut State Senate is expected to review the bill early next week on Capitol Hill.

State Representative Matt Lesser (D-Durham, Middlefield and Middletown) announced that the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill (HB 5347) that would require the State Board of Education to report annually on how often physical restraint and seclusion on children are used in schools.

“This bill will ensure that we have adequate data to understand what is happening in our schools around the state so we may take appropriate action,” Rep. Lesser said.

The bill requires local school boards, when seclusion or restraints are used on a child, to specify whether the use of physical restraint or seclusion was part of a student’s individualized education program or was an emergency. The State Board of Education is required to collect the data from around the state and annually report its findings to the Select Committee on Children, including if any actions resulted in physical injuries to the children.

Rep. Lesser’s legislative district includes the Farm Hill Elementary School in Middletown, whose restraint and seclusion practices have received a great deal of attention from parents and the media.

Current law states that restraint and seclusion can only be used on students receiving special education in emergency situations and when required by a student's IEP.

The bill goes next to the Senate.

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