Phyllis Musumeci is the founder of Florida Families Against Restraint and Seclusion and the National Families Against Restraint and Seclusion. Phyliss is also a mom on a mission to end restraints on special education / special need students. Unfortunately, many special education law students including those with autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities, are unduly restrained in public and private schools in Florida and the rest of the United States. Phyliss was asked to speak by the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, D.C. A new report on the issue of restraints and seclusion of special education students show widespread use in public schools throughout the nation. Some child rights and education rights advocates believe that the restraints amount to abuse and neglect of these students. Furthermore, the use of these restraints often times causes serious personal injuries and the wrongful death of special education students.
Under Florida law, school officials can restrain a special education student who is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others in the school environment. Muscumeci and others believe that Florida law is too vague and that children are often restrained when there is no danger at all to themselves or others. In public schools, some students are restrained for convenience of the teacher or staff rather than for the safety and welfare of the student. You can read more about Phyliss Muscumeci’s efforts and the problems of restraints of special education students at Child Advocacy Groups and Mom Seek to End Restraints of Special Education Students in Florida and Other States.