Sen. Rhonda Fields

HB 1276 was co-sponsored Sen. Rhonda Fields in the Colorado state Senate and signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper at the end of May. The new law prohibits the use of a chemical, mechanical, or prone restraint on a student by staff members except in instances where there is an immediate threat to that student, other students or staff. It also requires school districts to have an annual review process on when restraints are used.

‘It’s been really heartbreaking to look in the eyes of our community members when they say ‘My 18-year-old son was supposed to come in one week … is that really not happening?” said Jill Fricker, executive director of the Colorado African Organization. ‘And our response is, ‘The way we understand it, that is not happening.”