The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

Restraints and Seclusion in Schools


The harmful use of restraint and seclusion is a pervasive problem in our nation’s schools. NDSS is a member of the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS), a national coalition advocating for federal legislation to protect children from these dangerous techniques, a cultural shift toward preventive, positive intervention strategies and training for teachers on positive interventions. The growing media coverage of physical and emotional harm resulting from improper restraint and seclusion is drawing attention to the need for federal legislation to prevent these measures, and spurred a recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death from restraint and seclusion in school. The majority of students in the GAO study had disabilities.

Federal Initiatives

In the 113th Congress, Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Gregg Harper (R-MS), reintroduced the Keeping All Students Safe in Schools Act (H.R. 1893). This legislation requires each state and local educational agency (LEA) that receives federal funds to prohibit school personnel, contractors and resource officers from subjecting students to seclusion, mechanical or chemical restraint and aversive behavioral intervention that compromises student health and safety, or physical restraint that is life-threatening based on the student's health or disability status. NDSS strongly supports this legislation. 

House Keeping Students Safe Act cosponsors


NDSS Resources

External Resources

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors