Scott & Beyer Statement on Recent Restraint and Seclusion GAO Report
Washington, June 18, 2019
Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) issued the following statement after the release of a recent GAO Report, entitled “K-12 Education: Education Should Take Immediate Action to Address Inaccuracies in Federal Restraint and Seclusion Data.”
“The GAO’s report makes clear that school districts across the country are not accurately reporting the use of restraint or seclusion — disciplinary practices that jeopardize student and staff health and safety. In fact, the research shows these disciplinary practices make classrooms less safe. The report’s findings are consistent with the testimony the Committee on Education and Labor heard earlier this year and raise serious concerns about the prevalence of these harmful discipline practices. The Education Department must immediately implement GAO’s recommendations to give the public and Congress an accurate understanding of the use of restraint and seclusion.
“Today’s report is also further evidence that the state patchwork of restraint and seclusion standards is failing to protect students and educators. Congress must establish a nationwide minimum safety standard that gives educators, school districts, and states the tools and training to use more effective, evidence-based strategies that improve school climate. This is why we plan to reintroduce the Keeping All Students Safe Act later this year, which will help make classrooms safe and welcoming for all students as well as the educators who dedicate their lives to supporting them.”