Governor Brown signs bill limiting restraint and seclusion in schools

Press Release

(Sacramento, CA – October 1, 2018) Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation limiting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools Sunday. The bill, AB 2657, is sponsored by Disability Rights California (DRC) and authored by Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). It grants students the right to be free from the use of seclusion and behavioral restraints of any form imposed for coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff. 

While it is appropriate to intervene in an emergency to control behavior that poses a clear and present danger of serious physical harm, restraint and seclusion are dangerous interventions. They should be used as safety measures of last resort, and the bill requires staff closely monitor the student when restraint or seclusion is used. 

“Restraint and seclusion do not keep children safe,” said Deb Roth, DRC legislative advocate. “There is no evidence restraint or seclusion are effective in reducing the problem behaviors that frequently precipitate the use of such techniques.”

Under AB 2657, education staff will be prohibited from using locked seclusion and particularly dangerous restraint practices. Restraint and seclusion cause serious injury, long lasting trauma and death, even when done safely and correctly. 

Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization founded in 1978. We protect the rights of people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.disabilityrightsca.org.