Advocates and state lawmakers call for an end harmful restraining of children
Texas legislators filed bipartisan bills to prohibit physical, chemical and mechanical restraints of children under the age of 10 by school security personnel.
If passed, House Bill 459 — also known as the “No Kids in Cuffs” bill — would prevent restraints on students unless they present a harm to themselves or others. There are companion bills that address other forms of harmful restraint practices.
Advocates and legislators alike say these bills are primarily for students with disabilities. The “No Kids in Cuffs” bill was created in part due to the death of two students who were restrained. Both children were special education students, and stated that the restraints “hurt.”
HB 459 was originally filed during Texas’ 87th legislative session last year. The bill passed the House but not the Senate due to calendar deadlines.
If this legislation is passed, what does it mean for the students most likely to be disciplined in this way? What other best practices are advocates calling for? How often are students with disabilities restrained? What are the long-term effects of the use of restraints on children?
- State Rep. Lacey Hull R-Houston, spokesperson for the bipartisan bill "No Kids in Cuffs", or House Bill 459
- Jolene Sanders-Foster, advocacy director of Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, February 6.