Disability Rights Wisconsin thanks Governor Evers for signing into law Act 118, which
makes improvements to Wisconsin law regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in
Wisconsin schools.

In February 2016, Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT), Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), and
WI FACETS produced a report called Miles to Go detailing the distressingly high data on
restraint and seclusion since the enactment of Act 125 in 2012. Restraint and seclusion
were used over 20,000 times statewide in 2013/14; nearly 80% of the students involved
were students with disabilities. The report contained several recommendations to the
original law passed in 2011 to better protect students with disabilities in our public schools.

Lea Kitz, Executive Director at DRW, said. “Disability Rights Wisconsin thanks the Governor
for his support which will improve state statute, and reduce inappropriate use of these
practices. These changes incorporate years of work by a substantial group of education and
disability stakeholders.”

Act 118 requires restraint and seclusion data to be reported to DPI as well as school
boards; requires schools to convey a written incident report to parents; requires that the
principal meet with the staff who participated in the incident to discuss the sequence of
events and strategies to prevent future incidents; and explicitly prohibits prone restraint.
These changes increase the likelihood of reducing these practices and creating greater
transparency for families.

“The most important change for families is the requirement to provide a written incident
report. Families who contact us on seclusion and restraint do always receive these reports
and now it would be required.” said Phyllis Greenberger, Lead Advocacy Specialist.
With the Governor’s signature on Act 188, the Department of Public Instruction can move
forward with putting these reporting requirements in place for the next school year.

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