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Policy Manual

5630.01 - Restraint and Seclusion on Students with Disabilities

It is the policy of the School Board to limit the use of seclusion and restraint for students with disabilities to circumstances in which the strategy can be used safely in a manner that is in the best interests of the student with a disability and as defined in this policy.

Use of Seclusion

For purposes of this policy, seclusion is an emergency intervention sometimes used in schools when students are exhibiting disruptive or dangerous behavior. Seclusion is not an instructional tool for the development of pro-social behavior. Rather, it is one method to prevent students from harming themselves or others. It should only be used in emergency situations when an imminent risk of serious injury or death to the student or others exists.

The use of seclusion on a student with a disability shall not be permitted except when the conditions described in this policy exist.

School personnel may not close, lock, or physically block a student with a disability in a room that is unlit and does not meet rules of the State Fire Marshal for seclusion time-out rooms.

Use of Physical or Mechanical Restraints

For purposes of this policy, restraint is an emergency intervention sometimes used in schools when students are exhibiting disruptive or dangerous behavior. Restraint is not an instructional tool for the development of pro-social behavior. Rather, it is one method to prevent students from harming themselves or others. It should only be used in emergency situations when an imminent risk of serious injury or death to the student or others exists.

Physical restraint immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his/her torso, arms, legs, or head freely. The term physical restraint does not include a physical escort. Physical escort means a temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or back for the purpose of inducing a student who is acting out to walk to a safe location.

Mechanical restraint is the use of any device or equipment to restrict a student's freedom of movement. The term does not include devices implemented by trained school personnel or devices used by a student that have been prescribed by an appropriate medical or related service professional and are used for the specific and approved purposes for which such devices were designed, such as:

  A. adaptive devices or mechanical supports used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without the use of such devices or mechanical supports;

 

  B. vehicle safety restraints when used as intended during the transport of a student in a moving vehicle;

 

  C. restraints for medical immobilization; and

 

  D. orthopedically prescribed devices that permit a student to participate in activities without risk of harm.

 

A student with a disability shall not be subjected to physical or mechanical restraint except as specifically authorized in this policy.

School personnel may not use a mechanical restraint or a manual physical restraint that restricts the breathing of a student with a disability.

Physical or mechanical restraint shall not be used if there is a medical contraindication to its use identified for the student with a disability, and shall only be applied and supervised by a staff member who has been trained in the safe application and supervision of the specific means of restraint applied. Application of physical or mechanical restraint to a student with a disability shall take into consideration the IEP (individual educational plan) and any PBIP (positive behavior intervention plan) established for the student. Mechanical restraint will only be used when law enforcement or the school resource officer determines that the use of handcuffs is needed.

A student with a disability shall be released from physical or mechanical restraint immediately upon a determination by the supervising staff member who is administering or overseeing the use of restraint that the circumstances permitting the use of restraint in this policy no longer exist.

Mandatory Training for Staff

No employee of the Board, or person in a school facility, except in extreme emergencies, shall be permitted to use seclusion, physical or mechanical restraint until the person has received sufficient training in the use of the strategy or procedure to allow the person to utilize the measure safely for a student with a disability.

The Superintendent shall require that staff members responsible for implementing this policy receive training that includes the use of positive behavioral supports to deescalate problem behaviors.

Documentation and Reporting

A school shall prepare an incident report within 24 hours after a student with a disability is released from restraint or seclusion. If the student’s release occurs on a day before the school closes for the weekend, a holiday, or other reason, the incident report must be completed by the end of the school day on the day the school reopens.

The following must be included in the incident report, after a restraint or seclusion occurs, using the FLDOE reporting web site:

  A. the name of the student;

 

  B. the grade, ethnicity, gender and disability of the student;

 

  C. the date and time of the event and the duration of the restraint or seclusion;

 

  D. the location at which the incident occurred;

 

  E. a description of the incident in terms established by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE);

 

  F. the name of the person using or assisting in the restraint or seclusion;

 

  G. the name of any nonstudent who was present or witnessed the incident; and

 

  H. a description of the incident, including:

 

    1. the context in which the restraint or seclusion occurred;

 

    2. the behavior of the student with disabilities leading up to and precipitating the decision to use manual physical restraint or seclusion, including an indication as to why there was an imminent risk of serious injury or death to the student or others;

 

    3. the specific positive behavioral strategies used to prevent and de-escalate the behavior;

 

    4. what occurred with the student immediately after the termination of the restraint or seclusion;

 

    5. any injuries, visible marks, or possible medical emergencies that may have occurred during the restraint or seclusion, documented according to district policies; and

 

    6. evidence of steps taken to notify the parent or guardian of the student with a disability.

 

A school shall notify the parent or guardian of a student with a disability each time manual physical restraint or seclusion is used. Such notification must be in writing and provided before the end of the school day on which the restraint or seclusion occurs. Reasonable efforts must also be taken to notify the parent or guardian by telephone or computer e-mail, or both, and these efforts must be documented. The school shall obtain, and keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed acknowledgement that she/he was notified of his/her student’s restraint or seclusion.

A school shall also provide the parent or guardian with the completed incident report in writing, printed from the FLDOE reporting Web site, by mail within three school days after a student with a disability was manually physically restrained or secluded. The school shall obtain, and keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s acknowledgement that she/he received a copy of the incident report.

Monitoring

The District shall monitor the use of manual physical restraint or seclusion on students with disabilities and shall collect data including:

  A. when, where, and why students are restrained or secluded;

 

  B. the frequency of occurrences of such restraint or seclusion; and

 

  C. the prone or mechanical restraint that is most used.

 

Documentation will be kept at the school site and, when requested, will be provided to the General Director of Exceptional Student Education.

A District Monitoring Team, comprised of Area Office and District-level ESE administrators/personnel, administrator/personnel from Psychological Services and representative from SEDNET, will review and monitor the data and provide support to schools in:

  A. strategies and positive behavior supports and interventions;

 

  B. progress monitoring;

 

  C. additional training opportunities;

 

  D. crisis management.

 

F.S. 1003.32, 1003.573, 1006.11, 1012.75
F.A.C. 69A-58.0084

Adopted 4/1/14

© Neola 2011

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