Democratic Leader Lauren Book (D- Plantation) has filed SB 390 to prohibit the use of mechanical restraints for students with disabilities in Florida schools, ensuring approved restraint techniques are used only as a last resort to avoid imminent harm and requiring school districts to adopt positive behavioral and crisis intervention plans for students with disabilities.
“Students deserve to be safe at school, and parents deserve peace of mind,” says Leader Book. “The use of restraints can be traumatizing for children and should only be used as a last resort – we know there’s a better way. This policy builds on the great progress we made last year, as we work to make sure Florida classrooms are as safe as possible for students with disabilities.”
There have been more than 78,000 incidents of restraint reported in Florida between 2010, when the reporting system was developed, and 2020. These types of incidents can lead to students suffering bleeding or bone fractures, in addition to the psychological trauma of the experience.
Last year, Leader Book passed a bill prohibiting seclusion and the use of prone restraint for students with disabilities in Florida’s public schools – a hard-fought legislative victory that took four years to get across the finish line.