Restraints and Behavioral Interventions in Schools

Protecting the health and safety of its students is one of the primary responsibilities of each school.   As such, 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 use of certain types of behavioral interventions for students.  NYSED regulations include:

  • Prohibit the use of corporal punishment [8 NYCRR §§19.5];
  • Prohibit the use of aversive interventions, with limited exceptions  [8 NYCRR §§19.5 and 200.22];
  • 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)].

The Federal Policy On Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools and additional NYSED resources can be viewed here.It includes the following information: NYSED regulations and guidance governing behavioral interventions in schools are consistent with this federal guidance and all schools should review their policies and procedures to ensure they are consistent with federal and state standards.

Information regarding NYSED’s regulations can be found in the September 2009 memorandum Requirements Relating to the Use of Behavioral Interventions and Supports 

A sample Post Restraint Form is available on the Samples|Forms|Notifications Page of this website.

Page updated 12/11/19