Restraints and Behavioral Interventions In School

USDOE Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Restraint Resource Document
Outlines 15 guiding principles to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy learning environments for all students.  This document does not set forth any new requirements, does not create or confer any rights for or on any person or require specific actions by any state, locality, or school district. (USDOE May 15, 2012)

USDOE Fact Sheet: Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities
The guidance letter and series of questions and answers, issued by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on December 28, 2016, inform school districts how the use of restraint and seclusion may result in discrimination against students with disabilities in violation of Federal laws that prohibit disability discrimination, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (USDOE- Office of Civil Rights 2016).

NYS Education Department Resources
Each district and approved private school, special act school district and State-operated school is required to establish a school district code of conduct and discipline that meets the requirements of Title 8 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (8 NYCRR) 1§100.2(l).  Each school's code of conduct and discipline and behavioral interventions must be developed consistent with NYSED regulations that promote the use of positive behavioral supports and interventions and prohibit or limit the use of certain types of behavioral interventions for students.  NYSED regulations:

  • Authorize the limited use of unlocked time out rooms where a student is observed by staff at all times when a student needs an area to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his or her education program [8 NYCRR §200.22(c)]; and
  • Authorize the use of reasonable physical force, including the use of physical restraints only in emergency situations in which alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed [8 NYCRR §19.5 and 200.22(d)].

Additional NYSED resources can be viewed here.

The NYS Education Department Special Education Page can be viewed here.

Please see the Laws|Guidelines|Regulations section of this website for additional information.

Page updated 1/12/20