Seclusion and Restraint Policy

Use of Restraint

  1. Restraint shall be used only as a last resort when a student is displaying physical behavior that presents substantial imminent risk of injury to student or others.
  2. Restraint shall be employed only as a last resort after other methods of deescalating a dangerous situation have been attempted without success.
  3. Any regularly used timeout procedure shall be documented and agreed upon in a student’s BIP and/or IEP.
  4. Restraint shall be employed only by staff members who have received crisis intervention training by the school in the use of restraint procedures with the following exceptions:
    • Other school personnel may employ restraint procedures only in rare and clearly unavoidable emergency circumstances when fully trained school personnel are not immediately available. Untrained staff shall request assistance from trained staff as soon as possible.
    • Restraint of a student shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the techniques prescribed in the crisis intervention training program.
  5. Restraint shall last only as long as is necessary for the student to regain behavioral stability and the risk of injury has ended.
  6. Mechanical or chemical restraints are not authorized and shall be avoided.
  7. Prone or supine forms of restraint are not authorized and shall be avoided.
  8. Restraint or seclusion shall never be used in a manner that restricts a child’s breathing or harms the child.
    • Every instance in which restraint or seclusion is used shall be carefully, continuously and visually monitored to ensure the appropriateness of its use and safety of the child, other children, teachers, and other personnel.

When Restraint Procedures Shall Not Be Employed

  1. Restraint shall not be used unless there is imminent risk of injury to the student or others.
  2. A verbal threat or verbally aggressive behavior does not itself indicate an imminent risk of injury and shall not result in restraint.
  3. Destruction or damage to property does not constitute a risk of imminent injury unless so doing a risk of injury to the student or others is created.
  4. When known medical or physical condition of the student would make the restraint procedures dangerous for the student (e.g. student with heart or circulatory conditions, asthma, etc.) they shall not be employed.
  5. Restraint shall never be used as a punishment or to force compliance with staff commands.

Use of Seclusion

  1. Seclusion shall be used only when a student is displaying physical behavior that presents substantial imminent risk to the student or others, and the threat could be diminished if the student was in a safe environment away from other students and staff.

  2. Any regularly used seclusion procedure shall be documented and agreed upon as part of the student’s BIP and/or IEP.

  3. Seclusion shall be employed only as a last resort after other methods of deescalating a dangerous situation have been attempted.

  4. Seclusion shall be used only as long as necessary and shall be discontinued when the student is no longer an imminent threat to self-and/or others.

  5. Seclusion shall be employed only by staff members who have received specific crisis intervention training in the use of seclusion procedures.

  6. Seclusion must be used only when the student can safely be transported to the seclusion environment by trained staff members using appropriate techniques based on crisis intervention training.

  7. Timeout procedures that do not constitute seclusion are permitted in school.

  8. All seclusion environments shall be inspected and:

    • Be a reasonable size to accommodate the student and at least one adult.

    • Be of reasonable size to permit students to lie or sit down.

    • Have adequate ventilation including heat and air conditioning as appropriate.

    • Have adequate lighting.

    • Be free of any potential or predictable safety hazards such as electrical outlets, equipment, and breakable glass.

    • Permit direct continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student.

    • Permit automatic release of any locking device if fire or other emergency in the school exists.

    • Shall meet current fire and safety codes.

When Seclusion Procedures Shall Not Be Employed

  1. When the substantial imminent risk of injury no longer exists.
  2. When known medical or physical conditions of the student would make the seclusion procedures dangerous for that student (e.g. students expressing suicidal thoughts, students with heart or circulatory conditions, asthma, or other conditions).
  3. Seclusion shall never be used unless a staff member can continuously monitor the student for visual and auditory signs of physiological distress, and can communicate with the student.
  4. Seclusion shall never be used as a punishment, or to force compliance with staff commands.

Timeout

Time-out is a behavior reduction procedure in which access to reinforcement is withdrawn for a certain period of time. Timeout occurs when the ability of a student to receive normal reinforcement in the school environment is restricted. Timeout shall be both developmentally and behaviorally appropriate and shall be short in duration. Any regularly used timeout procedure shall be documented and agreed upon in a student’s BIP and /or IEP.

Informing Parents and Guardians

As soon as possible after any such use of time out, restraint and/or seclusion, the parents or guardian will be informed when any of these actions have occurred and will be provided with a detailed account of the incident including the circumstances that led to the use of timeout, restraint and/or seclusion.

Training

Staff will be trained in crisis intervention techniques, which will include the use of restraint and seclusion procedures.

Reporting, Documenting and Debriefing Requirements

  1. The Head of School or designee will attempt to notify the parent/guardians as soon as possible. If the administrator cannot reach the parent/guardian, he/she may send home a paper copy of the incident report via US Mail.
  2. Staff involved in the use of seclusion or restraint will complete a log entry in Student Information System (SIS) as soon as practical after the use of seclusion or restraint.
  3. The building administrator or designee will send a copy of the written report to the parent or guardian documenting the use of restraint or seclusion, and will place a copy in the student’s file.

Seclusion and Restraint Law

  1. S/R law is not a special education law, but applies to all students.
  2. IDEA requires Individual Education Plans, so it is possible that a student’s BIP could include S/R as an intervention or preventive measure if a case conference committee includes S/R in a BIP.
  3. Federal law is supreme over state law. IDEA is a federal law and the S/R law is an Indiana law.
  4. Special education teachers should consider including S/R in BIPs only as a last resort.
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