Articles printed in the Palm Beach Post

about the use of Restraint and Seclusion
(Mark Kamleiter is quoted in several of these articles)

Florida 'gutted' child restraint bill of most important protections, mother of restrained child says
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 11:59 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010
Posted: 11:48 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010

Port Orange Republican Dorothy Hukill's legislation restricting seclusion and restraint of Florida schoolchildren earned the state representative national notice.

"Florida was going to be the model for other states to follow," said Lori Mcllwain, a spokeswoman for the 10,000-member American Autism Association.

By the time it got to the governor's desk, though, Hukill's bill was stripped of its toughest provision: Instead of banning prone restraint, the bill was altered to bar restraint that can restrict a child's breathing. 

... more 

Bitten, gouged: Educators say tool prevents injuries to them, kids
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Updated: 11:17 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
Posted: 8:58 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010

Gail Rappaport's students have torn her cornea, bitten her and injured her back.

The veteran Palm Beach County teacher, who has worked with students with emotional and behavioral disabilities for 30 years, saw one student rip handfuls of his hair out from the roots. Another tried to gouge his eyes with a pen.

Pinning an out-of-control child face down on his stomach, she said, is a tool like any other: effective when used properly. "Nobody wants to do it, but the alternative is a child severely injuring himself or herself or severely injuring another student."

... more 

Bruises and a tip from another parent lead to mom's discovery
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 11:21 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
Posted: 9:13 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010

Phyllis Musumeci suspected something was wrong when her 11-year-old son dressed himself before school in the morning, but then sneaked back into his pajamas. He would kick and bite when she forced him to go to Lantana Middle School.
Christian's form of autism prevented him from telling his mother what was wrong.

Then she noticed the bruises.

Another parent suggested that Musumeci request school documents to see if Christian had ever been restrained. Musumeci received a stack of log entries showing that her son had been forcibly pinned face down at least 20 times in about two years by school staffers at Lantana Middle School.

"I sat down on my bed and went through them and cried," said Musumeci, who has since sued the school district and founded state and national organizations opposing restraint. "I couldn't grasp what had been done to him."