February 3, 2012
Via E-Mail and Facsimile
All House and Senate Education Committee Members
Re: H.R. 1381 and S.2020: Seclusion and Restraint In Schools
Dear Members of the House and Senate Education Committee,
This is my third submission to this Congressional Committee in three years. My comments have been in response to a series of proposed bills (the latest being H.R. 1381 and S. 2020) which would federally regulate the use of restraint and seclusion in every school throughout the United States.
My comments to you have focused mainly on the illegality of this legislation. These comments have not been warmly received by Congressman George Miller, the National Disability Rights Network (“NDRN”), or the regional Protection and Advocacy (“P&A”) offices. These are taxpayer-funded groups of advocacy attorneys who depend on the ignorance of long-settled law to achieve legislative success. My company’s timely dissemination of the law has been instrumental in derailing similar NDRN and P&A political and legislative efforts at the state level throughout the United States. Both NDRN and P&A have a history of retaliatory conduct toward me for my ongoing disagreements with them on matters of restraint policy (Cease and Desist letter attached).
My first submission to the House Committee was dated February 17, 2009 and was emailed to, then, Chairman George Miller. The Committee had directed the GAO to prepare a report highlighting restraint deaths at schools which was all but complete before I made my first submission to Chairman Miller. Within several weeks, I was visited by a GAO investigator in my office. The Investigator told me he was sent on short notice to look into the circumstances of a 10 year old fatality which occurred at a treatment center. The center had a training services agreement with my company, Handle With Care (“HWC”). I informed him that the matter had been fully investigated by the Lancaster County DA and the Pennsylvania State Police a decade before his visit and that my company, our methods and our training program were completely and unequivocally exonerated In the DA’s report. We were never sued by the family and we were not involved in any settlement. That did not prevent the GAO from expanding its report on schools to include treatment centers. The name of the report was changed at the last minute to include “Treatment Centers” in its title; ostensibly to provide cover for a report that was originally to be limited in its scope to schools. This was the only incident involving a treatment center in the report. Its addition did nothing to improve your understanding of the issue, and was only added for the purpose of dissuading me from further participation in the process. It also received the distinction of being listed #1 in the list of ten train wrecks that the GAO earnestly paraded before the House Committee.
I made an immediate request in writing to the U.S. Inspector General dated April 8, 2009, (attached), asking for an investigation into Congressman Miller (and the GAO) for abuse of authority, namely, his misuse of an instrument of the Federal Government (the GAO) to intimidate, punish and silence an American citizen and taxpayer for exercising my right to free speech before his Committee. The outcome of the IG’s investigation was predictable. It went nowhere.
My second submission to you and Congressman Miller was dated June 22, 2011. On this occasion and just eight hours after Congressman Miller received my second submission, I received an unexpected request for a phone interview from Jennifer Gollan, a reporter for the Bay Citizen; a newspaper not-so-coincidentally located in Congressman Miller’s District. Ms. Gollan presented me with a slew of defamatory and factually false accusations and statements which she was about to publish in the Bay Citizen and The New York Times about my training program’s safety record and about me personally. I told Ms. Gollan that the allegations she was about to publish were false. See Comment 1; Comment 2; Comment 3; Letter to the Bay Citizen Editor. She boasted to me that the purpose of her article was to pressure the San Francisco Unified School District into terminating its training services agreement with my company. Ms. Gollan followed her first article with a follow-up article a week later in which she “reported” on the negative responses and statements that were made to her by various School Board members and whose judgments were based entirely on her false claims and allegations. I requested a second investigation by the IG into the conduct of Congressman Miller, NDRN and the Bay Citizen in this second episode. I was directed by the IG to the House Ethics Committee. A letter was sent by me to the Ethics Committee. It went nowhere.
Today, I am submitting my third round of comments to you and Congressman Miller concerning the illegality of proposed bills H.R. 1381 and S.2020. Given his history, the Congressman will likely notify NDRN and P&A that I submitted this latest round of comments and give them a green light for another round of abuse and harassment.
I have decided that all future assaults on me and my company will be in full public view and witnessed first-hand by every one of Congressman Miller’s colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate. If you believe in a citizen’s right to submit comments to you without fear of reprisal or harassment, I respectfully ask you to take Congressman Miller aside and tell him so.
Individually and President of HWC
cc: U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Inspector General, Chair of House Ethics Committee, Darrell Issa, NDRN, P&A (all 50 States), Editor Bay Citizen, Editor WSMV