ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation Monday that limits the use of physical restraint and isolation on students in New Mexico schools.
House Bill 75 — co-sponsored by Reps. James Smith, R-Sandia Park, and Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque — allows schools to use physical restraint or seclusion only if the student’s behavior is a serious physical danger to someone else and if less-restrictive measures aren’t likely to help.
There are other requirements, too, including record-keeping, analysis of how to prevent future incidents, notification to parents and training.
Supporters said the measure would help protect students — especially those with autism — from cruel treatment by frustrated staffers who aren’t sure how to handle them.
“It’s going to bring much more awareness to the issue,” Smith said Monday. “I definitely think it will make a difference.”