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JKAA - Physical Restraint of a Student

Policy JKAA

Adopted: Originally November 21, 2002; March 3, 2011
Amended: August 15, 2019

Maintaining an orderly, safe environment conducive to learning is an expectation of all staff members of the school district. Further, students of the district are protected by law from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. Such restraint shall be used only in emergency situations of last resort after other lawful and less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate, and with extreme caution. When an emergency situation arises, and physical restraint is the only option deemed appropriate to prevent a student from injuring himself or herself, another student or school community member, a teacher or employee or agent of the school district may use such reasonable force needed to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

The definitions of forms of restraint shall be as defined in 603CMR 46.02

The use of "time out" procedures during which a staff member remains accessible to the student shall not be considered "seclusion restraint".

The use of mechanical restraint, medical restraint, and seclusion is prohibited.

Prone restraint shall be prohibited in public education programs except on an individual student basis, and only under the circumstances outlined in 603 CMR 46.03 (b)

Physical restraint, including prone restraint where permitted under 603 CMR 46.03, shall be considered an emergency procedure of last resort and shall be prohibited in public education programs except when a student's behavior poses a threat of assault, or imminent, serious, physical harm to self or others and the student is not responsive to verbal directives or other lawful and less intrusive behavior interventions, or such interventions are deemed to be inappropriate under the circumstances. 

All physical restraints, including prone restraint where permitted, shall be administered in compliance with 603 CMR 46.05.

Physical restraint is prohibited as a means of discipline or punishment or as a response to property destruction, disruption of school order, a student's refusal to comply with a public education program rule or staff directive, or verbal threats when those actions do not constitute a threat of assault, or imminent, serious, physical harm, or as a standard response for any individual student. No written individual behavior plan or individualized education program (IEP) may include the use of physical restraint as a standard response to any behavior. Physical restraint is an emergency procedure of last resort.

Physical restraint is prohibited when the student cannot be safely restrained because it is medically contraindicated for reasons including, but not limited to, asthma, seizures, cardiac condition, obesity, bronchitis, communication-related disabilities, or risk of vomiting.

Nothing in these regulations prohibits: The right of any individual to report to appropriate authorities a crime committed by a student or other individual; Law enforcement, judicial authorities or school security personnel from exercising their responsibilities, including the physical detainment of a student or other person alleged to have committed a crime or posing a security risk; or the exercise of an individual's responsibilities as a mandated reporter pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 51A. 603 CMR 46.00 shall not be used to deter any individual from reporting neglect or abuse to the appropriate state agency.

The Superintendent or his/her/their designee shall develop and implement written restraint prevention and behavior support policy and procedures consistent with 603 CMR 46 regarding appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention. Such policy and procedures shall be annually reviewed and provided to program staff and made available to parents of enrolled students. Such policy and procedures shall include, but not be limited to, elements a-j as outlined in 603 CMR 46.04 (1):

In addition, each staff member will be trained regarding the school's physical restraint policy and accompanying procedures. The Principal will arrange training to occur in the first month of each school year, or for staff hired after the beginning of the school year, within a month of their employment. Training shall include information as outlined in 603 CMR46.04(2)

Each building Principal will identify staff members to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. These staff members will participate in an in-depth training program in the use of physical restraint as outlined in 603 CMR 46.04 (3)(4). 

Staff and administration shall adhere to all Reporting Requirements outlined in 46.06 and included in the district's procedures.

This policy and its accompanying procedures shall be reviewed and disseminated to staff annually and made available to parents/guardians of enrolled students. The Superintendent shall provide a copy of the Physical Restraint regulations to each Principal, who shall sign a form acknowledging receipt thereof.

Legal References:

M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B, and c. 71, § 37G

603 CMR 46.00

Procedure Reference:

JKAA-FRM1 Physical Restraint Report

JKAA-PRC1 Final HPS Restraint Procedure

School Committee Policies