Parental Rights Recognized For Parents of Children With Disabilities

A new state law offers added protections for disabled children and parental rights.

Bill S.7548-Harckham/A.8540-Burdick was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul on August 17, 2022. The new law directs New York school districts to “develop procedures requiring that, where a method of seclusion or restraint is used on a student with a disability as a behavioral intervention,” the student’s parents shall be notified on a same-day basis. According to State of Politics, “seclusion and physical restraint are sometimes used as a way of preventing students from hurting themselves, other children or school staff members.”

Asm. Chris Burdick (D-Bedford), the lead Assembly sponsor of the law, noted that some disabled children are nonverbal and are thus unable to communicate with parents about their experiences at school. The legislation is intended to increase transparency and parental involvement.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks Sen. Peter Harckham (D-South Salem) and Asm. Burdick for their support of this new law. Parents are entitled to be informed about significant behavioral interventions that are used on their children, and disabled children deserve to have parents that are “in the loop” about occurrences at school that may affect them.