HB 0063 Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

HB 0063 - Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

Students with Disabilities as well as all students in public schools should receive consistent care at the hands of educators. HB 0063 Was filed to protect the students from mistreatment by staff such as seclusion and restraints as punishment for behaviors. The misuse of seclusion and restraints has led to injury and even death. This Bill seeks to correct this lapse in care for the State's children. 

 

Florida HB 0063, Co-sponsored by Florida Representative Katie A. Edwards, proposes new legislation to protect Students with Disabilities in Public Schools. This Bill revises School District policies and procedures requiring the continued education and training related to Students with Disabilities. Providing requirements for the use of seclusion, restraint and exclusionary and non-exclusionary time.  The bill passed the House Education Committee unanimously, garnishing support and helpful feedback from many of the legislators. 

 

Specific Points of the Bill Include:

  • Defines terms related to restraint.
  • Provides that physical restraint may be used only to protect students, school personnel or others, but not for
  • disciplining a student. Restraints should be used only when all other strategies and techniques have been
  • exhausted. A student may only be physical restrained for the time necessary for protection.
  • Prohibits physical restraint techniques, such as:
    • Pain inducement to obtain compliance.
    • Bone locks.
    • Hyperextension of joints.
    • Peer restraint.
    • Pressure or weight on the chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, or abdomen, causing chest compression.
    • Straddling or sitting on any part of the body or a maneuver that places pressure, weight, or leverage on the neck or throat, on an artery, or on the back of the student's head or neck or that otherwise obstructs or restricts the circulation of blood or obstructs an airway.
    • Any type of choking, including hand chokes, and any type of neck or head hold.
  • Requires school districts to develop policies and procedures to provide for the physical safety and security of all
  • students and school personnel; and requires that students be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Outlines under what circumstances restraint may not be used.
  • Describes the circumstance when exclusionary and nonexclusionary time may be used.
  • Requires the school to review a student’s functional behavioral assessment and individualized behavior
  • intervention plan when a student is placed in exclusionary and nonexclusionary time or physically restrained more
  • than twice in a semester.
  • Adds to staff training effective classroom behavior management strategies such as differential reinforcement,
  • precision commands, minimizing attention or access to other reinforcers, and time methods.
  • Directs DOE to publish data and analysis relating to incidents of restraint on its website.
  • Prohibits school personnel from placing a student in seclusion.