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PAPPI stands for Parents And Profesionals for Positive Interventions

This page tracks the work of the PAPPI group to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and increase the use of positive behavioral supports.

We work via e-mail and hold a conference call once a month. Leave a note on the discussion page if you want to participate or e-mail gregsmithpm at gmail.com.

Notes and campaigns from a previous incarnation of this group are available here: PAPPI 1.0

Goals Edit

  1. Facilitate the ability of parents to tell their story and be heard without retaliation.
  2. Improve transparency about what is happening in schools and analyze data to demonstrate the use of restraint and seclusion.
  3. Develop tools and information for school systems to help reduce the use of restraint and seclusion through positive behavioral support.
  4. Increase the size of our group. Ensure that we have actionable tasks for new parents as they express a desire to be involved.
  5. Improve the laws and regulations on restraint and seclusion.

Ways to volunteer Edit

Whether this affects your child directly or not, you can help reduce the use of restraint and seclusion!

We have small things you can do (less than 30 minutes from a computer) and other ways you can be involved. Feel free to contact us any time

Here are ways to get started:

  • Join our e-mail list (contact gregsmithpm at gmail.com)
  • Particpate in monthly planning conference calls
  • Participate in a campaign (see below)
  • Come up with a new idea for a campaign.

Campaigns Edit

Comment on Updated MA Regulations Edit

New proposed regulations are here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/2014-09/item6.html

Notice of public comment is here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=13497

Comments can be submitted to: restraintcomment@doe.mass.edu or mailed to: DESE c/o legal department 75 Pleasant Street Malden, MA 02148-4906

Sample comments from discipline regulation updates. Gives a good example of how to make comments and what kind of response you can expect: http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/2014-04/item6-comment.pdf

How to comment from DLC Edit

An overview of the regulations, info on how to comment, suggested points to make and a sample letter are here: Media:Comments-on-regs-dlc.pdf

DLC web page with their comments: http://www.dlc-ma.org/dese/index.htm

Suggestions and evidence for comments Edit

See this page for sample letters you can re-use. Suggested comments by area, long and short versions are also available: Mass-DESE-Comments

Pass Keeping All Students Safe Edit

Overview and InformationEdit

Restraint and Seclusion are practices used in public schools (and schools that receive public funds) that have killed, injured, and traumatized students. More than 20 children have died, according to a Congressional agency report.  Nearly 110,000 students were subjected to restraint and seclusion in isolation rooms, according to data from the 2011-12 school year. To prevent these practices and protect students and staff, Senators Tom Harkin and Chris Murphy introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act in the Senate (S. 2036) and Representatives George Miller and Gregg Harper introduced the House bill (H.R. 1893).

Find out if your two senators and representative are cosponsoring the Keeping All Students Safe Act by clicking the links below:

Senate Keeping All Students Safe Act Co-sponsors

House Keeping All Students Safe Act Co-sponsors

From: http://tash.org/blog/2014/06/11/ask-congress-support-bill-prevent-dangerous-restraint-seclusion/

Please"like" this Facebook page to support the bill: https://www.facebook.com/keepstudentssafe

Resources and form to contact congress available here: http://www.cqrcengage.com/nami/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=41807

Talking point and sample e-mail here: Media:Sample-Messages.pdf


Letter to US Representative or SenatorEdit

Send to: (Senate: http://1.usa.gov/Senat; House: http://bit.ly/RepWrit ).

Subject: Support HR 1893 (or S 2036 for senators) Keeping All Students Safe Act

Rep. (insert name of rep or senator here) Nearly 110,000 students were subjected to restraint and seclusion in isolation rooms in the 2011-12 school year. To prevent these practices and protect students and staff, Senators Harkin and Murphy and Representatives Miller and Harper introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act in the Senate (S. 2036) and House bill (H.R. 1893).

Can you please co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act,H.R. 1893 (or S 2036 for Senators), and protect all American students nationwide from restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools? 

(add personal connection or story here if possible)  

Thanks, 

(Name and address (address needed to confirm you are a constituent)



Letter to e-mail listsEdit

Subject: Contact Congress to Support Keeping All Students Safe Act

Message:

Nearly 110,000 students were subjected to restraint and seclusion in isolation rooms in the 2011-12 school year. To prevent these practices and protect students and staff, Senators Harkin and Murphy and Representatives Miller and Harper introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act in the Senate (S. 2036) and House bill (H.R. 1893).

• Call your senators and representative today—US capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121—and urge him/her to co-sponsor the KEEPING ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT, S. 2036 and HR 1893. (Leave a voicemail if no one answers).

• Or email (Senate: http://1.usa.gov/Senat; House: http://bit.ly/RepWrit ).

Sample Message: “Please co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act, S.2036 and H.R. 1893, and protect all American students nationwide from restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.”

For more information and to support the campaign, like this Facebook page group https://www.facebook.com/keepstudentssafe 

To join a parents group working on this issue see: http://specialeducation.wikia.com/wiki/PAPPI#Ways_to_volunteer

------------------------

Sample letter to SPED groups asking for their help

Subject: Parents asking for help to reduce use of restraint and seclusion

Hi (insert name here),

A group of parents and professionals recently came together to work on reducing restraint and seclusion in schools. One focus is passing the Keeping All Students Safe Act in US Congress. Senate (S. 2036) and House bill (H.R. 1893).

More information on the bill is available here: http://keepstudentssafe.com/

The (insert group name) has been a great advocate for children with special needs over the years, including on this issue. Would the (group name) or its members be available to contact Senators Warren and Markey and ask them to support this bill? 

Let me know if you would like a sample e-mail to share with your members.

We also want to meet with our MA Senators and Representatives. Can the ARC help contact them to request a meeting?  We would bring interested parents to any meeting you can help schedule. 

Do you have any other suggestions on how we can help get this bill passed in US Congress? Please let us know how we can accomplish our goal. Thanks a lot for all your hard work over the years! Thanks, your name and contact info


List of US House Education Cmte members
Republican:
John Kline, Minnesota, Chairman
Tom Petri, Wisconsin
Howard "Buck" McKeon, California
Joe Wilson, South Carolina
Virginia Foxx, North Carolina
Tom Price, Georgia
Kenny Marchant, Texas
Duncan D. Hunter, California
Phil Roe, Tennessee
Glenn "G.T." Thompson, Pennsylvania
Tim Walberg, Michigan
Matt Salmon, Arizona
Brett Guthrie, Kentucky
Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee
Todd Rokita, Indiana
Larry Bucshon, Indiana
Trey Gowdy, South Carolina
Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania
Martha Roby, Alabama
Joe Heck, Nevada
Susan Brooks, Indiana
Richard Hudson, North Carolina
Luke Messer, Indiana
Bradley Byrne, Alabama

Democrat
George Miller, California, Ranking Member
Bobby Scott, Virginia
Rubén Hinojosa, Texas
Carolyn McCarthy, New York
John Tierney, Massachusetts
Rush D. Holt, Jr., New Jersey
Susan Davis, California
Raúl Grijalva, Arizona
Timothy Bishop, New York
David Loebsack, Iowa
Joe Courtney, Connecticut
Marcia Fudge, Ohio
Jared Polis, Colorado
Gregorio Sablan, Northern Mariana Islands
Frederica Wilson, Florida
Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon
Mark Pocan, Wisconsin
Mark Takano, California


Open Action ItemsEdit

Anyone who has time can contact the person named and take over any of these open items or just ask for what would help.

- Cara to contact NAMI and see how we can work with them on KASS

- Greg to contact ARC Mass and/or national and do the same

- Deb to contact Amy Peterson and see what she suggests

- Greg to write short actionable e-mail to get people to contact their congress person, then e-mail to list owners to share. Should include a landing page too.

- Greg to define media strategy, traditional and social.

Meetings and Notes Edit

Next meeting Edit

Proposed for Thursday, September 18, 7PM

Notes from August 14 meeting Edit

Notes:

- Discussed ways get Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASS) passed. Lucie suggested working with existing groups. Noted it has to pass this year or get re-introduced in 2015. Suggestion to write regular KASS update e-mail to share with SPED parents e-mail lists. Noted need to write actionable e-mail as top priority.

- Discussed need for social media strategy too.- Discussed updates planned to Mass Restraint regulations planned before the end of the year.

- Noted Lucie is working on a trauma informed care presentation in Newton

- Talked about ways to grow group and need to have campaigns and work underway.


Action items:

- Cara to contact NAMI and see how we can work with them on KASS

- Greg to contact ARC Mass and/or national and do the same

- Deb to send KASS Facebook page run by Bill and Amy Peterson's (done, see below)

- Deb to contact Amy Peterson and see what she suggests

- Greg to contact DLC and parents on Mass DoE parents advisory group to see if we can give input in to updated Mass regulations. 

Notes from July 24 meeting</span>Edit

Deb D and Greg had a call on Thursday 7/24

Notes:

- Decided the first campaign should focus on Keeping All Students Safe Act. Tentatively decided on a concurrent campaign around positive behavioral support.

- Greg updated on work in Newton, MA (see details below).  Letter to the editor and pictures of seclusion rooms generated a lot of discussion and media.- Deb mentioned Best Practices Guide she helped write, now being promoted by Maine Developmental Disabilities group for use state-wide. Also noted collection of resources posted by Ed Dept. in Maine after Ch. 33 passed.

- Discussed challenge of working on a difficult subject (note: this work can bring back traumatic memories, please give yourself space whenever you need it).

- Noted need to engage broader SPED community and neuro-typical community. Discussed difference in organizing in rural and urban environments.- Discussed "time out" rooms and the fine line between quiet sensory controlled space and forced isolation. 

Action items (all open items went to me but anyone can take them or a take a sub-task):

- Deb to send link to Ed Dept. of Maine web page with Resources

- Everyone to recruit one or two more people to join a monthly call and give 2 - 3/hours per month between calls. Also accepting names and e-mail addresses for a low-volume bcc "Action Alert" list.

- Greg to find info on congressional sponsors for keeping all students safe. (found this so far: http://tash.org/blog/2014/06/11/ask-congress-support-bill-prevent-dangerous-restraint-seclusion/) and link to Bill's Facebook page.

- Greg to write short actionable e-mail to get people to contact their congress person, then e-mail to list owners to share. Should include a landing page too.

- Greg to define media strategy, traditional and social.

- Everyone to come up with ideas for a campaign promoting PBS.

- Greg to update wiki page with notes, campaigns and action items. http://specialeducation.wikia.com/wiki/PAPPI Will post the above notes and action items on the public wiki unless anyone has concerns or edits.

Letter to Editor Edit

From: http://www.wickedlocal.com/x825425932/Greg-Smith-No-time-out-rooms-in-Newton-Schools

October 2013

No ‘time out rooms’ should be built


Newton public schools (NPS) should stop using time out rooms in elementary schools. Also called break rooms or quiet rooms, these closet-sized spaces are used to isolate children. Children held in a time out room against their will can suffer depression or suicidal ideation. Young children on the autism spectrum or those with posttraumatic stress are especially vulnerable. The new Angier School will include two of these isolation rooms, each no larger than the mailroom. As NPS builds more of these rooms, more children will suffer from their use. Any child can be put in isolation at any time with no parental notification. Parents should visit the time out room in their child's school and ask the principal to notify them in writing if their child is held there. We didn't shut children away like this when you and I went to school and we don't need to do it now. Before you vote for school committee this fall ask the candidates to make children's mental health a priority and end the use of time out rooms in schools. --Greg Smith, Norwood Avenue

Article published in Newton Tab Edit

Published Front page November 2013 ANGIER SCHOOL Two 'quiet rooms' planned Author: Jim Morrison

Plans for the new Angier School include two "quiet rooms." School officials say that there are already similar small spaces--usually a repurposed closet or office--in most of the schools in the district.

The new rooms will feature matted walls and floors and at least one window. Newton Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Joe Russo said that in districts like Newton where students with special needs spend most of their time in classrooms, these spaces are necessary. "We’ve seen a need for them as kids with more intense needs are mainstreamed into the classrooms," said Russo. Russo said that most students would likely never be placed in a quiet room. He said that students who are placed in them, have it as part of their IEP, or individualized education plan.


According to Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Judy Levin-Charns the purpose of these rooms is "to provide a safe, quiet space where the student can de-escalate under careful supervision." Levin-Charns said that students are monitored by staff when they’re in quiet rooms and that some students actually request to go into them.


But at least one local parent thinks the rooms are a bad idea. Documentary filmmaker and journalist Bill Lichtenstein lives in Newton and graduated from Newton South. He says that his daughter, Rose, was placed in one of these rooms in a Lexington school nearly every day over a three month period in 2006. Lichtenstein wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times about it last year, drawing national media attention.


Since then, Lichtenstein has been campaigning to outlaw these rooms on the federal level. “It’s pretty clear that there’s no evidence that restraining kids or putting them in seclusion rooms works,” said Lichtenstein. “There are other best practices and methods for calming them down.” Lichtenstein concedes that in an emergency, teachers should use every means available to keep a child safe, but is concerned that the use of such room is becoming the norm. “It’s counterintuitive,” said Lichtenstein, “locking a child in a room can be terrifying; it’s not a good way to help them calm down.”


Lichtenstein said that when kids act up in school, it’s typically a symptom of something else going on in their lives that they can’t express or manage. “What schools need to do is to help kids articulate what’s bothering them,” said Lichtenstein. “Teach them self-control. What doesn’t help them is physically restraining them.”


According to Superintendent David Fleishman, students in the quiet rooms are always supervised, but the use of these rooms is not documented. Fleishman could not tell the TAB how often the rooms were used.

Lichtenstein thinks that is a big problem. “In a psych ward, when a patient is put in isolation,” said Lichtenstein, “it’s meticulously documented. In schools, it isn’t and that’s a problem.” Lichtenstein thinks a city like Newton can find better methods to handle students’ behavioral issues. “Newton is in close proximity to Harvard University and Children’s Hospital, and has access to their minds,” said Lichtenstein. “You wonder why they’re going to build a school that has these facilities built into it.”

Resources, news and information Edit

SPED-Restraint-Resources

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