Confinement, Restraint and Time-Out

 

What's Required

It is the policy of the state of Texas to treat with dignity and respect all children, including children with disabilities who receive special education services ( 19 TAC 89.1053(a)). Any behavior management technique and/or discipline management practice must be implemented in such a way as to protect the health and safety of the child and others. No discipline management practice may be calculated to inflict injury, cause harm, demean, or deprive the child of basic human necessities (19 TAC 89.1053(j)).

This framework generally applies to all school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors (19 TAC 89.1053(j)).his framework also applies to a peace officer only if the peace officer (TEC 37.0021(h)) is employed or commissioned by a school district (TEC 37.0021(h)(1)) or provides, as a school resource officer, a regular police presence on a school district campus under a memorandum of understanding between the district and a local law enforcement agency (TEC 37.0021(h)(2)). This framework applies to other peace officers performing law enforcement duties on school property or during a school-sponsored or school-related activity only with regard to the data reporting requirements concerning the use of restraint (TEC 37.0021(i) and TEC 37.0021(g)(1)).This framework does not apply to juvenile probation, detention, or corrections personnel; or an educational services provider with whom the child is placed by a judicial authority, unless the services are provided in an educational program of a school district(TEC 37.0021(g)(2)).

 
CONFINEMENT: The child with a disability, who receives special education services must not be confined in a locked box, locked closet, or other specially designed locked space as either a discipline management practice or a behavior management technique (TEC 37.0021(a)).

RESTRAINT: "Restraint" means the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of the child's body (19 TAC 89.1053(b)(2) and TEC 37.0021(b)(1)).

A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use restraint only in an emergency and with the following limitations:

 
  • Restraint must be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to address the emergency (19 TAC 89.1053(c)(1));
  • Restraint must be discontinued at the point at which the emergency no longer exists (19 TAC 89.1053(c)(2));
  • Restraint must be implemented in such a way as to protect the health and safety of the child and others (19 TAC 89.1053(c)(3)); and
  • Restraint must not deprive the child of basic human necessities (19 TAC 89.1053(c)(4))

Training for school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors must be provided according to the following requirements:

 
  • A core team of personnel on each campus must be trained in the use of restraint; and the team must include a campus administrator or designee and any general or special education personnel likely to use restraint; (19 TAC 89.1053(d)(1));
  • Personnel called upon to use restraint in an emergency and who have not received prior training must receive training within 30 school days following the use of restraint;(19 TAC 89.1053(d)(2));
  • Training on use of restraint must include prevention and de-escalation techniques and provide alternatives to the use of restraint(19 TAC 89.1053(d)(3))and
  • All trained personnel must receive instruction in current professionally accepted practices and standards regarding behavior management and the use of restraint (19 TAC 89.1053(d)(4)).

The following documentation requirements must be met in a case in which restraint is used by school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors (19 TAC 89.1053(e)):

 
  • On the day restraint is utilized, the campus administrator or designee must be notified verbally or in writing regarding the use of restraint (19 TAC 89.1053(e)(1)),
  • On the day restraint is utilized, a good faith effort must be made to verbally notify the parent regarding the use of restraint (19 TAC 89.1053(e)(2)),
  • Written notification of the use of restraint must be placed in the mail or otherwise provided to the parent within one school day of the use of restraint (19 TAC 89.1053(e)(3)),
  • Written documentation regarding the use of restraint must be placed in the child's special education eligibility folder in a timely manner so the information is available to the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee when it considers the impact of the child's behavior on the child's learning and, or the creation or revision of a behavioral intervention plan (BIP); and (19 TAC 89.1053(e)(4)),
  • Written notification to the parent and documentation to the child's special education eligibility folder must include the following (19 TAC 89.1053(e)(5)):
Restraint does not include the use of (19 TAC 89.1053(f)):
 
  • Physical contact or appropriately prescribed adaptive equipment to promote normative body positioning and/or physical functioning (19 TAC 89.1053(f)(1));
  • Limited physical contact with the child to promote safety (e.g., holding the child's hand), prevent a potentially harmful action (e.g., running into the street), teach a skill, or provide comfort (19 TAC 89.1053(f)(2));
  • Limited physical contact or appropriately prescribed adaptive equipment to prevent the child from engaging in ongoing, repetitive self-injurious behaviors (19 TAC 89.1053(f)(3));or
  • Seat belts and other safety equipment used to secure children during transportation (19 TAC 89.1053(f)(4));

 Cumulative data regarding the use of restraint by school employees, volunteers, independent contractors, and by peace officers must be electronically reported through the Texas Education Agency's Public Education Information Management System (19 TAC 89.1053(k), TEC 37.0021(i), and 19 TAC 89.1053(f))

TIME-OUT: "Time-out" means a behavior management technique in which, to provide the child with an opportunity to regain self-control, the child is separated from other children for a limited period in a setting: (19 TAC 89.1053(b)(3)and TEC 37.0021(b)(3))
 

A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use time-out with the following limitations (19 TAC 89.1053(g) and 19 TAC 89.1053(b)(3)):

 
  • Physical force or threat of physical force must not be used to place the child in time-out (19 TAC 89.1053(g)(1)and 19 TAC 89.1053(b)(3));and
  • Time-out must only be used in conjunction with an array of positive behavior intervention strategies and techniques and must be included in the child's individualized education program (IEP) and/or BIP if it is utilized on a recurrent basis to increase or decrease a targeted behavior (19 TAC 89.1053(g)(2)and 19 TAC 89.1053(b)(3))and
  • Use of time-out must not be implemented in a fashion that precludes the ability of the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum and advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals specified in the child's IEP (19 TAC 89.1053(g)(3)and 19 TAC 89.1053(b)(3)).

Training for school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors must be provided according to the following requirements: (19 TAC 89.1053(h)):

 
  • General or special education personnel who implement time-out based on requirements established in the child's IEP and/or BIP must be trained in the use of time-out (19 TAC 89.1053(h)(1));
  • Newly identified personnel called upon to implement time-out based on requirements established in the child's IEP and/or BIP must receive training in the use of time-out within 30 school days of being assigned the responsibility for implementing time-out (19 TAC 89.1053(h)(2));
  • Training on the use of time-out must be provided as part of a program which addresses a full continuum of positive behavioral intervention strategies, and must address the impact of time-out on the ability of the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum and advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals specified in the child's IEP (19 TAC 89.1053(h)(3));
  • All trained personnel must receive instruction in current professionally accepted practices and standards regarding behavior management and the use of time-out (19 TAC 89.1053(h)(4)).
Necessary documentation or data collection regarding the use of time-out, if any, must be addressed in the IEP or BIP. The ARD committee must use any collected data to judge the effectiveness of the intervention and provide a basis for making determinations regarding its continued use (19 TAC 89.1053(i)).
 
Texas Education Code § 37.0021. Use of Confinement, Restraint, Seclusion and Time-Out.     
 
(a) It is the policy of this state to treat with dignity and respect all students, including students with disabilities who receive special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29.  A student with a disability who receives special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, may not be confined in a locked box, locked closet, or other specially designed locked space as either a discipline management practice or a behavior management technique.   
(b)  In this section:      
   (1)  "Restraint" means the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body.     
   (2)  "Seclusion" means a behavior management technique in which a student is confined in a locked box, locked closet, or locked room that:        
(A)  is designed solely to seclude a person;  and                                   
(B)  contains less than 50 square feet of space.                                 
   (3)  "Time-out" means a behavior management technique in which, to provide a student with an opportunity to regain self-control, the student is separated from other students for a limited period in a setting:        
(A)  that is not locked;  and                                                       
(B)  from which the exit is not physically blocked by furniture, a closed door held shut from the outside, or another inanimate object.    
   (4)  "Law enforcement duties" means activities of a peace officer relating to the investigation and enforcement of state criminal laws and other duties authorized by the Code of Criminal Procedure. 
 
(c)  A school district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a district may not place a student in seclusion.  This subsection does not apply to the use of seclusion in a court-ordered placement, other than a placement in an educational program of a school district, or in a placement or facility to which the following law, rules, or regulations apply:
(1)  the Children's Health Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-310, any subsequent amendments to that Act, any regulations adopted under that Act, or any subsequent amendments to those regulations;
(2)  40 T.A.C. Sections 720.1001-720.1013;  or
(3)  25 T.A.C. Section 412.308(e).   
What We Do
 
The school must protect the health and safety of the student and others. When dealing with discipline or behavior issues, the school cannot use any practice that is intended to injure, harm, demean, or deprive the student of basic human necessities.

Confinement

The school ensures that any confinement of students is in accordance with state and federal law.  Students are never placed in a locked box, locked closet, or other specially designed locked space as either a discipline management practice or a behavior management technique.

Restraint

The use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict a student’s free movement is called restraint. Spring ISD utilizes Non-violent Crisis Intervention ©(NCI) model of restraint.  Campus staff (carrying a current TEA teacher or administrative certificate)  can restrain a student (as a last resort) in an emergency situation when the student is demonstrating behaviors that may result in serious harm to the student/others or serious property damage. The restraint period ends once a student demonstrates a decrease in physical/emotional energy and begins to regain rational thinking. Once the restraint period has ended, the staff must re-establish communication with the student who was restrained.  This debriefing process takes place using the COPING model.

Legal Documentation and parent communication requirements for restraints:

  1. On the day restraint happens, the campus administrator must be notified verbally of the restraint by the restrainer
  2. On the day restraint happens, the campus administrator and the special education campus coordinator must also be notified in writing by a NCI trained TEA certified staff member (can not be a paraprofessional) who was involved in the restraint by completing the Spring ISD Summary of Restraint 
  3. The campus administrator must then document the restraint occurrence on the Spring ISD Restraint Internal Tracking Form.
  4. On the day restraint happens, the campus administrator must make a good faith effort to verbally notify the parent, guardian, and surrogate parent (if applicable) regarding the use of restraint. This must be documented on the Spring ISD Restraint Internal Tracking Form. Additionally, there should be a minimum of three separate attempts to notify the parent if the prior attempts have failed. These should also be documented on the Spring ISD Restraint Internal Tracking Form.  
  5. Within  (1) school day following the restraint, a written notification letter printed on campus letterhead and signed by the campus administrator (utilizing the Spring ISD Parent Notification of Restraint Letter) must be sent certified mail or otherwise provided directly to the parent, guardian, and surrogate parent (if applicable). This must be documented on the Spring ISD Restraint Internal Tracking Form
  6. The campus administrator, to whom the restraint was reported, must submit the original completed documents (Spring ISD Restraint Internal Tracking FormSpring ISD Summary of Restraint, and the Spring ISD Parent Notification of Restraint Letter) must be hand delivered or sent interoffice mail to the Manager of Assessment, Dr. Chuck Schaefer, within three (3) school days  
  7. The Manager of Assessment, will review the documents, communicate any noted concerns to the campus administrator (if identified) and will submit completed documentation of the restraint to the SEMS/PEIMS clerk (within 3 school days of receipt of the completed documentation) in order that it be reported to TEA and placed in the child's special education state folder. 
 
Note: Personnel called upon to use restraint in an emergency and who have not received prior training are legally required to receive Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI) training within 30 school days following the use of restraint.
 
    Restraint does not include: 
    • Physical contact or using adaptive equipment to promote the student’s body positioning/physical functioning is not restraint. 
    • Limited contact with the student to promote safety, prevent a potentially harmful action, teach a skill, or provide comfort is not restraint. 
    • Limited physical contact or using adaptive equipment to prevent the student from engaging in ongoing repetitive self-injurious behavior is not restraint. 
    • Seat belts or other safety equipment used to secure the student during transportation are not restraints.

    Time-Out

    There are also requirements the school must meet if the school repeatedly uses time-out.  Time-out is a technique in which, to provide a student with an opportunity to regain self-control, the student is separated from other students for a limited period of time.

    • The school cannot use force or threat of force to put the student in time-out. 
    • Time-out cannot take place in a locked setting. 
    • The exit may not be physically blocked by furniture, a closed door held shut from the outside, or another inanimate object. 
    • All instances of the use of Time-Out should be documented by the student’s teacher
      Seclusion
      At no time shall a student be placed in seclusion by an employee or contractor of the district. Seclusion is defined as :
      a behavior management technique in which a student is confined in a locked box, locked closet, or locked room that:
      (A)  is designed solely to seclude a person;  and
      (B)  contains less than 50 square feet of space (TEC 37.0021).
          
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