SB 133: Prohibiting Restraints on Students 10 Years and Younger
Last week, the Texas Senate passed S.B. 133, written by Senator Royce West. During the 2021-2022 school year, there were over 35,000 incidents of student restraint, with more than 4,000 of those incidents involving peace officers or school resource officers. While this is a decrease from the 2018-2019 school year, the data still shows a concerning trend. Students as young as five years old are being restrained for minor infractions, with approximately 50% of all restraints occurring in grades 1-4. Additionally, approximately 91% of the cases occurring involving restraints on students with disabilities, despite them comprising less than 10% of all students.
S.B. 133 is a bill that aims to amend the Education Code to prohibit the physical restraint or use of chemical irritants on students under 10 years old, by school security personnel and peace officers, except in cases were the student poses a risk of harm to themselves or others. This legislation aims to keep children and peace officers safe from physical and emotional trauma in the classroom and prevent students from being criminalized early in life. This rule would apply on school property or at a school-sponsored or school-related event.
By regulating the use of restraints, schools will be able to provide safer environments, especially considering the dangers and significance of restraints.