Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We've officially reached the midpoint of the 60-day legislative session. For the next several days, legislators will focus on the budget, work on fiscal committees and take part in floor action and debate in both the House and Senate chambers.
Reducing classroom disruptions | House Bill 2930
I recently introduced a measure brought to me by teachers in our district and echoed by others across the state. Under the bill, when students disrupt the classroom or experience a behavioral crisis that poses a risk to themselves or others, it would permit teachers to use seclusion or restraint as a disciplinary action. The change would apply to general population students only—not special needs students on an individualized education program or 504 plans.
Current guidelines require teachers and instructional staff to use “room clears” to separate disruptive students. That means when a child is causing problems, teachers evacuate all the other students from the classroom, leaving only the troubled student and the teacher. This method has been somewhat controversial, with many teachers expressing concern that “room clears” protect the rights of troubled students with little regard for their classmates.
I cannot emphasize enough that this proposed policy change was brought to me from teachers. From professionals, working in the classroom. They believe that allowing carefully monitored restraint or seclusion would give them better options for dealing effectively with disruptive events—without disturbing an entire class's learning.
This bill is good policy. Good for teachers and good for students. Although it's not likely to move forward this session, I'm glad to have started the conservation so that teachers are given more tools to deal with these kinds of situations.
Telephone town hall
Hearing from people at home helps me understand what you think about bills and policies being decided in Olympia. That's why I'm inviting 19th District residents to take part in my telephone town hall on Monday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 7 p.m.
What: Telephone Town Hall
When: Monday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dial: (360) 209-6593 Press * (the star key) to ask a question.
As always, please feel free to contact me any time to share your comments, questions, and concerns about this year's legislative session or anything else that's on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you.