New Law Aims to Protect Special Needs Students at Non-Public Schools

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation aimed at extending protections to special needs students in non-public schools Wednesday.

The signing of AB 1172 comes 11 months after the death of a 13-year-old autistic student at the now defunct Guiding Hands school in El Dorado Hills. The boy was asphyxiated while he was being restrained.

AB 1172, authored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, puts in place monitoring and reporting requirements for non-public schools. It will allow the Department of Education to suspend or revoke certification of non-public schools when student health or safety is compromised.

"I am delighted to hear Governor Newsom signed AB 1172," said Maria Marquez, interim chairperson of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) in a press release. "We are grateful for Assemblymember Frazier and Superintendent Thurmond’s leadership to ensure our students, including those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, are protected in school."

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