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Need to Know

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‘I’m not safe here’: Schools ignore federal rules

on restraint and seclusion


By Fred Clasen-Kelly, NC Newsline - Jan. 2024

Hannah Russell is the mother of a child with special needs who she says was restrained and secluded in school, a practice some researchers say can cause long-lasting trauma. Russell, a former special education teacher, is now part of a network of parents and advocates in North Carolina that helps families navigate the education system. 

Photos show blood splattered across a small bare-walled room in a North Carolina school where a second grader repeatedly punched himself in the face in the fall of 2019, according to the child’s mom. Read more...

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Rebecca Cokley - The Nation - March 2023

The disability community is reeling this week over the passing of Judith Heumann. Judy, a polio survivor, spent most of her 75 years advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, in school, in employment, in foreign policy, in the United States and globally. She served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, and pioneered roles at the World Bank and the Ford Foundation. But the reality is that Judy, like so many disabled people, had to work until her death to maintain the quality of life that she needed to stay in the community and avoid being forced against her will into an institution or nursing home.

As Rebecca Vallas at the Disability and Economic Justice Collaborative says, “Disability is a cause and consequence of poverty.” Rules and regulations regarding Social Security, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Workforce Investment Act, and Medicaid govern every decision people with disabilities can make about their economic status, from what college to attend to whether to marry. Read more...

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