Ohio legislature responds to DRO, other advocates to extend seclusion and restraint rules to charter schools
December 18, 2014 / restraint and seclusion
DRO is pleased that the Ohio House of Representatives agreed with the Ohio Senate to pass a bill containing language that will provide protections for students with disabilities in charter schools. Amended House Bill 178 contains language from Senate Bill 266 – originally sponsored by Senators Skindell and Lehner – that extends the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) rule limiting restraint and seclusion to charter schools. DRO and many other self advocates and their families sought this extension of the rule to charter schools during ODE’s original rule process, but at that time ODE stated that a change to include charter schools would need to be made by the legislature. These limits are needed in all of Ohio’s schools, because research indicates that dangerous restraint and seclusion interventions are used on students with disabilities at a higher rate than other students in any type of school. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Kasich soon.
DRO encourages the ODE and the many Ohio school districts to fully implement the new law, conduct quality and timely training of staff, and tell parents and guardians about the new law and its requirements.