Special discussion about the new guidance from the United States Department of Education

August 14, 2022 The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint Season 3 Episode 15
Special discussion about the new guidance from the United States Department of Education
Show Notes

New guidance from the United States Department of Education warns against ‘informal removals’ and finds no evidence supporting restraint and seclusion to improve behavior. In this special AASR Live event we will discuss the new guidance and take questions from the live audience.

Cheryl Poe is the founder and owner of Advocating 4 Kids, Inc. a Special Education Advocacy organization that provides resources, information, and workshops to parents and professionals with a special focus on addressing needs of Black and Brown children and those from lower-socio economic status.

Cheryl holds a Master of Arts Degree in Urban Education and Counseling. She also has completed over 15 credit hours of post graduates hours in psychology. In June of 2004, she completed the Nation Group Psychotherapy Institute at the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington D.C. in the study of Group Psychotherapy. Mrs. Poe completed a two-year term as the Student Outreach and Recruitment Committee Chair person for the Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society Board of Directors and was awarded with the Jefferson Cup for leadership in her role. 

Cheryl is the mother two boys with learning disabilities. Ms. Poe prides herself on understanding the struggles that parents face when dealing with special education issues. Ms. Poe is diagnosed with ADHD and learning disabilities and received special education services in as a child! Mrs. Poe is a passionate advocate who has walked the walk as a parent of a Black American child with a disability and understands the fears, trauma and struggles that parents face. Her oldest child was a victim of a school system that failed to believe he deserved the services needed to be successful and who used his race as a factor to treat him less than.

Guy Stephens is a lifelong resident of Maryland, a father, a husband, and an advocate for children’s rights. His journey in advocacy began as a parent, advocating for appropriate accommodations and supports for his neurodivergent son. In 2018 Guy completed the Parents’ Place of Maryland’s LEADers training, a parent leader program to develop leadership skills among parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. In 2019 Guy completed the Maryland Coalition of Families Family Leadership Institute (FLI) a 60-hour intensive training program for parents and caregivers of school-age children with mental health needs. Guy is currently a member of the Board of Directors for The Arc of Maryland. Guy is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and presented at their 2020 annual conference. Guy is actively working to change policies and practices around the use of restraint and seclusion at the local, state, and federal level.

Guy is the Founder and Executive Director for the ​Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint (AASR). Restraint and seclusion are outdated crisis management techniques used in schools across the nation. These interventions disproportionately impact disabled, Black, and Brown children. The practices are dangerous and can lead to significant trauma and injuries to students, teachers, and staff. AASR’s mission is to educate the public and connect people who are dedicated to changing minds, laws, policies, and practices so that restraint and seclusion are reduced and eliminated from schools across the nation. AASR believes that our schools should be moving towards neurodevelopmentally informed, trauma-sensitive, biologically respectful, relationship-based ways of understanding, and supporting all students.

Guy believes that we can do better for all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and if we can we must. He understands that we need to embrace neurodiversity and neuroscience to create safe and inclusive environments to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.

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