On March 4, the House of Representatives approved the Keeping All Students Safe Act by a vote of 262 to 153. The legislation is aimed at protecting children from inappropriate uses of disciplinary practices in schools.
The law was inspired by a government investigation that found widespread allegations that children were being abused through misuses of restraint and seclusion in classrooms.
Prepared by the Government Accountability Office, the report stated that children as young as 3 and 4 were disciplined using ropes, duct tape and chairs with straps and bungee cords to restrain or isolate them. The experience was nearly universal, affecting students with disabilities and without disabilities, and those who attended both public and private schools.
"This critical piece of legislation confronts the unimaginable situation in schools across the country whereby some of our nation’s most vulnerable children are treated in an inhumane and degrading manner," said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), original sponsor of the bill.
However, the organization American Principles in Action did not agree, saying it will limit freedoms enjoyed by private and religious schools.
Its executive director, Andresen Blom, said that 80 percent of Catholic schools and a large number of independent private schools accept federal government funding. "Americans do not pay their hard-earned money to private schools in order to subject them to burdensome and subjective regulations written by unelected federal and state bureaucrats," he stated.