Strong Support for Seclusion and Restraint Restriction: VA Senate Passes Bill 35-4
Richmond, VA- Today, the Virginia Senate voted 35-4 to pass SB 782, a bill that requires the Board of Education to issue regulations on the use of seclusion and restraint, parental notification and training requirements.
The bill’s patron, Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), urged her colleagues to vote in favor of the bill: “We have heard powerful testimony from parents and students across the Commonwealth who suffered from this lack of regulation- the case has been made, let’s help protect these children.”
Sen. Garrett (R-Lynchburg) also spoke on the bill, giving moving testimony on what exactly it feels like to experience seclusion and restraint: “By God I was warehoused. And it’s still happening today.”
On Sunday, the Washington Post editorial board endorsed Senator Favola’s bill, calling it “grounded in common sense.” The bill was reported out of the Senate Education and Health committee 11-4 on January 14th.
Although guidelines for seclusion and restraint in Virginia have existed since 2004, only eighty schools have used them to adopt a policy. Thirty-two states have statutes addressing seclusion, restraint, or both.
Senator Barbara A. Favola represents Virginia’s 31st district, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, and a portion of Loudoun County. For the 2015 session, Senator Favola sits on the Local Government, Rehabilitation and Social Services, and Transportation Committees.