Truth to Power

GOP: Ok to abuse kids in school!

GOP: Law banning child abuse in schools will lead to ‘government takeover’

A proposed law designed to prevent child abuse in schools has been lauded by children’s protection advocates, and slammed by House Republicans as an unnecessary expansion of federal government power.

The House of Representatives last week passed the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which for the first time sets minimum national standards for practices such as the use “seclusion rooms” or forced restraint of unruly students.

Though the bill was a bipartisan effort in reaction to a government report last year that found “hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death” related to the practices, it was opposed by a vast majority of Republicans, who said the bill amounted to an intrusion on states’ rights and the ability of local school districts to determine their own policies.

Writing at the Solitary Watch blog, James Ridgeway and Jean Casella report that currently only 23 US states have laws on the books restricting the use of solitary confinement and restraints on students, while another seven states have “weak” protections. The reporters cite a Department of Education report (PDF) that concludes “[p]olicies, or the lack thereof, vary widely: Vermont, for example, has no formal guidelines governing how schools can restrain students, while Nevada has ‘stringent’ requirements about specific conditions under which restraint can be used, as well as a formal process for filing violations.”

While Republicans stood firmly against the proposed law, children’s protection advocates applauded the move.</em>

So we’re to believe its now a “states rights” issue because some enlightened areas of our nation don’t have a problem with schools abusing kids under the guise of maintaining order?



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