State law requires districts to adopt policies limiting use of restraint and seclusion that include comprehensive student protections, including the provision of mandatory training for school personnel.
Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 Regulations Governing Public Schools.
(f) Seclusion and Restraint for ALL Students.
- (i) Chemical Restraint - Any medication that is used to control violent physical behavior or restrict the student's freedom of movement that is not a prescribed treatment for the student's medical or psychiatric condition. Use of chemical restraint is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs.
- (ii) Mechanical Restraint - The use of any device or material attached to or adjacent to a student's body that is intended to restrict the normal freedom of movement and which cannot be easily removed by the student. The term does not include an adaptive or protective device recommended by a physician or therapist when used as recommended by the physician or therapist to promote normative body positioning and physical functioning, and/or to prevent self injurious behavior. The term also does not include seatbelts and other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation. Use of mechanical restraint is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs.
- (iii) Physical Restraint - Direct physical contact from an adult that prevents or significantly restricts a student's movement. The term physical restraint does not include mechanical restraint or chemical restraint. Additionally, physical restraint does not include: providing limited physical contact and/or redirection to promote student safety or prevent self-injurious behavior, providing physical guidance or prompting when teaching a skill, redirecting attention, providing guidance to a location, providing comfort, or providing limited physical contact as reasonably needed to prevent imminent destruction to school or another person's property.
- (iv) Physical Restraint that restricts the flow of air to the student's lungs- Any method (face-down, face-up, or on your side) of physical restraint in which physical pressure is applied to the student's body that restricts the flow of air into the student's lungs. Use of this type of restraint is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs.
- (v) Seclusion - a procedure that isolates and confines the student in a separate, locked area until he or she is no longer an immediate danger to himself/herself or others. The seclusion occurs in a specifically constructed or designated room or space that is physically isolated from common areas and from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. Seclusion does not include situations in which a staff member trained in the use of de-escalation techniques or restraint is physically present in the same unlocked room as the student, time-out as defined in paragraph (1.)(vi) of this rule, in-school suspension, detention, or a student-requested break in a different location in the room or in a separate room. Use of seclusion is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs.
- (vi) Time-out -- A behavioral intervention in which the student is temporarily removed from the learning activity. Time-out is appropriately used when:
- (I) The non-locking setting used for time-out is appropriately lighted, ventilated, and heated or cooled.
- (II) The duration of the time-out is reasonable in light of the purpose of the time-out and the age of the child; however, each time-out should not exceed 45 minutes.
- (III) The student is reasonably monitored by an attending adult who is in reasonable physical proximity of the student and has sight of the student while in time-out.
- (IV) The time-out space is free of objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm.