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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida lawmaker aims to end restraint and seclusion in schools



4347 Less than a month ago, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged states to revise their laws and rules relating to the restraint and seclusion of students.

Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith assured that his department was working on this issue as a procedural matter. State Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, wants to get a little more tough than that.

Hukill has filed HB 81 in order to make crystal clear that manual physical restraint would be used only when a child's life is at risk — not for the convenience of the adults in the room or as a substitute for real behavior planning.

Here's a piece from the legislative intent section of the bill:

"The Legislature finds that the majority of problem behaviors that are currently used to justify seclusion or restraint could be prevented with early identification and intensive early intervention. The need for seclusion or restraint is, in part, a result of insufficient investment in prevention efforts."

Maybe this time out a majority of lawmakers will agree.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:33am]


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