On January 15, 2013 the Ohio Department of Education issued its first statewide policy that applies to all school districts requiring the use of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and limiting the use of restraint and seclusion. The policy states that restraint and/or seclusion shall NOT occur, except when there is an “immediate risk of physical harm to the student or others” and that such restraint or seclusion must serve to protect the safety of all children and adults at school. Further, in order to help prevent the need for restraint or seclusion, districts must implement the PBIS framework for all students.
What does this mean for you?
Each school district is required to develop its own written policy on the use of physical restraint and seclusion.
- Certain methods of restraint or seclusion must be specifically identified as prohibited.
- A self-monitoring procedure must be built in to ensure the policy’s implementation.
- The policy must be available to parents annually and must be posted on the school’s website.
- Districts must train their staff members annually in the areas of PBIS, restraint and seclusion.
- Districts must implement a PBIS framework in their schools.
- Districts must document both their use of restraint and/or seclusion, and the training which is given to the staff.
- Districts must report their use of restraint and/or seclusion to the ODE.
These changes go into effect beginning the 2013-2014 school year. If you have questions about these changes or would like assistance in drafting or revising your district’s policy and procedures, please contact one of the individuals listed in the sidebar and we would be happy to assist you.