The Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA) has been introduced in both the House and Senate by Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Patty Murray (D-WA). This bill would make it illegal for any school that receives federal funds to seclude a child or use dangerous restraint practices that restrict breathing, such as prone or supine restraint. KASSA would also prohibit schools from physically restraining children, except when imminent danger of serious injury to students or staff is likely. The bill would also ensure training is provided to all school personnel that is based on evidence-based proactive strategies. This harmful restraint and seclusion practices disproportionately affect students with autism and other disabilities, and/or students of color. According to the 2018 Civil Rights Data Collection, of the students restrained or secluded, 78 percent were students with disabilities. Although Black students comprise 15 percent of the student population, they represent 22 percent of students subjected to seclusion and 34 percent of students subjected to mechanical restraint.
Students with disabilities deserve the opportunity to pursue their education free from the fear of trauma and abuse. Please use this action alert to encourage your members of Congress to pass this important piece of legislation.