Wisconsin Family Ties applauds the Wisconsin Legislature for passing Senate Bill 527,
governing the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. The bill passed yesterday by the State Assembly is the result of years of constructive engagement by stakeholders in the education and disability rights communities and critical bipartisan support by lawmakers in both houses of the legislature.

The bill grew out of the 2016 study, Miles to Go, produced by Wisconsin Family Ties, Disability Rights Wisconsin and WI FACETS, that showed an alarming 20,000 reported incidents of restraint or seclusion occurring in schools across the state, disproportionally applied to elementary students with disabilities.

“SB 527 is the first step to finding and adopting better ways to meet the behavioral needs of vulnerable students,” said Hugh Davis, executive director of Wisconsin Family Ties. “This bill is designed to assist educators, school administrators, and affected families accomplish that goal and we look forward to Governor Evers signing SB-527 into law.”

SB-527 provides much-needed clarity on what does and does not constitute an incident of restraint or seclusion, when such incidents need to be reported, how they need to be reported, and to whom reports should be sent. The bill also specifies the State Department of Public Instruction to centralize data collection and creates criteria to ensure parent or guardian notification of incidents.

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