AB-2657: Pupil discipline: restraint and seclusion

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Weber
Status: To Governor (Enrolled)
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

This bill stops inappropriate restraints and seclusions in schools by permitting a teacher or staff to use behavioral restraints or seclusion only if the student’s behavior presents an imminent danger or serious harm to the student or others and never to use behavioral restraints or seclusion as a means to coerce or discipline a student.

AAP Positional Letter



June 19, 2018

The Honorable Benjamin Allen
Chair, Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2083
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 2657 (Weber) Pupil discipline: restraint and seclusion
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Chair Allen,

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 2657 (Weber), which stops inappropriate restraints and seclusions in schools by permitting a teacher or staff to use behavioral restraints or seclusion only if the student’s behavior presents an imminent danger or serious harm to the student or others and never to use behavioral restraints or seclusion as a means to coerce or discipline a student.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Collection shows that in the 2011-12 school year, restraint and seclusion were used at least 267,000 times nationwide. This includes 163,000 instances in which students were restrained and 7,600 in which mechanical restraints were used. Schools reported that they placed children in seclusion rooms about 104,000 times and in 75% of all the cases, it was kids with disabilities who were restrained or secluded.1 There are numerous reports of children being injured or even dying due to inappropriate use of restraints.

AB 2657 (Weber) would reduce inappropriate use of restraints and seclusions in schools by limiting the instances where restraints or seclusion can be used and by banning certain types of restraints while still allowing educators to intervene to keep students and staff safe. The law is modeled after current law governing use of restraint and seclusion in nursing homes and state hospitals.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support proposed legislation AB 2657 (Weber) and urge you to vote AYE. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.

Sincerely,

Angela Dangvu, M.D. Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: Members of Senate Education Committee
The Honorable Shirley Weber, Author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne

1 https://www.npr.org/2014/06/19/322915388/national-data-confirms-cases-of-restraint-and-seclusion-in-public-schools