Friday, August 20, 2010

What to Do if Your Child Is Restrained or You Suspect Was Restrained

1. Take pictures of any visible injuries and document those injuries.

2. Take your child to his/her Pediatrician or the Emergency room for a complete physical examination.

3. Call the child abuse hotline and report it.

4. File a police report.

5. Send a "No Restraint" letter to the school principal, the district superintendent and/or members of the school board. You may want to either hand-deliver this or send it certified mail. A sample letter can be found here (Respect ABILITY Law Center):
You can change the "No Restraint Letter" to fit your needs. Make sure you add that that school staff are not to call the police also. Make it clear that you want them to contact the family members you have listed and that restraint, seclusion and the police are not necessary.
Note: This form may not stop the schools from restraining children but they will not be able to come back later on and say that you were aware that your child was being restrained and never objected.

6. File a complaint with your state Department of Education:

7. File a complaint with you state Disabilities Rights Network (aka Protection and Advocacy):

8. Contact Families Against Restraint and Seclusion at and share your experience. We understand what you're going through because we too have lived through it.