Let's work together to keep our kids safe.
ASF has formed a Safe Schools Task Force due to the enormous concerns we have for our children who attend public schools in Florida.
Day after day there are reports of children with autism being treated with disrespect, exposed to profanity, dragged from classrooms, baker acted, restrained and segregated.
Bullying is another big problem for our kids.
In fact, 63% of kids with autism REPORT
being bullied in school, and that is only those who can communicate about what is happening to them.
We have contacted the Florida Department of Education, Chancellor of Education, district ESE directors, Office of Safe Schools, and we ask you to do the same.
Below are some contact emails. If you are as concerned as we are about this issue, please reach out to them and share your story.
Thank you for standing up for children with autism.
Jessica Brattain, Bureau Chief
Richard Strickland, State Lead: Autism Spectrum Disorder
YOUR ADVOCACY IS NEEDED!
House Bill 1429 and Senate Bill 1568 would require schools to have an elopement protocol for when a student has gotten out of the area of safety with their teacher or other school adults.
In Florida, we have a CODE ADAM mandated program in all Federal Buildings, and many Retail Stores participate voluntarily. A CHILD that elopes in a Walmart is safer than a CHILD that elopes in a Florida Public School!!!
There are at least two school districts that already have this in their school board policies, but we want to make sure that ALL STUDENTS are protected, no matter where they live. There are currently 4 legislators as sponsors to these bills, two on the House side and two on the Senate side, but we need more sponsorship, and we need to ensure that the bills are heard in committee. If they are not put on the agenda in the committees, they will die.
Below are the committees that need to hear these bills:
1) Education Quality Subcommittee;
2) PreK – 12 Appropriation Subcommittee;
3) Education and Employment Committee
1) Education PreK-12;
2) Children, Families and Elder Affairs;
A bill has to pass 3 committees on each side (House and Senate) to be able to move on towards becoming a law. If the chair decides that he/she doesn’t want to put it on the agenda, it dies.
Please call YOUR House member and your state Senator and ask them to sign up to become a cosponsor of this bill and to request that it be placed on the agenda? If you are on Twitter, please post there and tag your legislator – that seems to work even better than an email these days – plus PLEASE call them.
Tip: If you call after hours, you can easily leave a message on their voicemail asking them to
co-sponsor and request that it’s put on committee agendas.
If we can get enough of them to sign onto the bill, we have a chance.
This is NOT a partisan topic and it costs no money.
SADLY, a child with autism very recently died after wandering away from home and being struck by a car. This was not from a school, but it very easily could have been.
THANK YOU for your advocacy!
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
It's important to contact you legislators and let them know where you stand on the issues.
They need to hear personal stories to inform and influence them. If no one calls them, then it's as if they're not needed and all is well with special education.