Media Contact

Sam Petto, ACLU of Nebraska Communications Director

January 19, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, Nebraska State Senator Dave Murman introduced LB 811, a bill that allows school staff to physically restrain students. 

The bill’s introduction continues a multiyear effort by some state senators to pass the controversial legislation despite concerns voiced by students, parents, guardians, educators and advocates. 

Like prior versions, LB 811 authorizes all school personnel to use what it calls “reasonable physical intervention" on students to “safely manage” their behavior. It also shields staff from any professional or administrative discipline related to their actions so long as they are reasonable — a term it never defines. 

Rose Godinez, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nebraska senior legal & policy counsel, issued this statement in response to the bill’s introduction.  

“It is disheartening to see state senators take another run at passing this misguided bill that could risk kids’ well-being and educational opportunities,” Godinez said. “We are particularly concerned about the potential impact on Black and Indigenous students and students with disabilities as they are already more likely to be subjected to discipline and removed from classrooms. As we have said time and time again, the answer is more funding, resources and training for our hardworking educators — not opening the door for school staff to use more physical force on students. We will oppose this bill every step of the way and will advocate alongside parents, guardians and teachers to protect students’ rights."