Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA)
Protecting Students from the Harm of Seclusion and Restraint
The Keeping All Students Safe Act, KASSA, is a bill in the 118th Congress.
The bill would stop students from being put in a room against their will.
School staff are not allowed to use a drug or medication to give to a student to stop the student from a certain behavior without a doctor's support.
Schools should not have students be put in a timeout in a separate room away from their peers as a part of their Individualized Education Plan, IEP.
Schools can not have the use of physical control over a student be a part of their IEP.
Schools can only use physical control over a student to protect the safety of students and staff.
Isolation: The act of being set apart from other things or people
Ban: To not allow by law
Seclusion: To be in a place by yourself
Restraint: Someone holding someone against their will
The Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA) was recently reintroduced to the 118th congress. KASSA would prohibit secluding a child or using mechanical restraint, chemical restraint, and prone, supine, or physical restraint that restricts breathing, stops blood flow to the brain, or is life threatening. Schools may not plan to restrain a student as part of their Individual Education Plan. Parents will also be provided a private right of action in the instance of unlawful seclusion or restraint.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA) is needed to:
Prohibit school personnel, including law enforcement from:
- Secluding any child
- Using mechanical restraint, chemical restraint, prone or supine and physical restraint that restricts breathing or is life threatening
- Restraining any child, except when necessary, to protect students or staff from imminent danger of serious physical injury
- Planning to restrain as part of the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Promote school-family communication and support improvements in schools by:
- Establishing new minimum safety standards and policies for states and districts
- Requiring parental notification when physical restraint occurs
- Providing a private right-of-action to families whose child is unlawfully secluded or restrained, including for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory relief, attorneys’ fees, or expert fees
- Requiring states and districts to establish and implement new minimum safety standards and related policies
- Requiring states to train school personnel so they are equipped to use evidence-based proactive strategies and techniques to address student behaviors
- Improving school/district capacity to annually collect and analyze data on the use of restraint to help improve the school climate and culture while protecting student privacy.
Provide funding to states, districts and school personnel for:
- Accessing training in evidence-based practices to support a safe school environment for all
- Hiring more school counselors or other non-police personnel to address students’ behavior and other needs
- Promoting the use of evidence-based programs such as positive-behavior interventions and support and “time out” which separates the student from the class/group in a non-locked, accessible setting
- Ensuring parents and school personnel meet as needed to address a student’s behavior.
Help all communities by:
- Ensuring student and staff safety and wellbeing through the use of evidence-based alternatives to restraint and seclusion
- Requiring training and certification of staff conducting any allowed/required physical restraint
- Improving monitoring, reporting, and enforcement systems to support all students and school staff
- Requiring parental notification and follow-up meetings if a physical restraint occurs
- Increasing transparency, oversight, and enforcement to prevent future abuse and death of students.