Outline of the state of Arkansas
Limits use with some protections

Restraint and Seclusion

Restraint and Seclusion

State law requires districts to adopt policies that limit use of restraint and seclusion without addressing comprehensive student protections.

Arkansas 005 18 CARR 020. Time-Out Seclusion Room


  • 20.03.1 Time-out seclusion should be used only for behaviors that are destructive to property, aggressive toward others or severely disruptive to the class environment. General noncompliance, self-stimulation, academic refusal, etc., can be responded to with less stringent and restrictive techniques.

  • 20.03.2 The time-out seclusion room should be used only as a last resort if and when less restrictive means of controlling behavior have proven ineffective.

  • 20.03.3 The necessity of using physical force to place a student in a time-out seclusion room is inappropriate beyond that reasonably managed by the classroom teacher.

  • Involuntary time-out must not be used with such students and, in general, time-out is not an appropriate intervention for classroom use with any students older than 12 unless they have made a contractual agreement for its use.

  • It is important that teachers realistically evaluate their ability to physically remove a student to the time-out room.

  • If there is a reasonable doubt concerning the capability of the teacher to physically remove the resistant student, the teacher should not begin to attempt the time-out procedure. In such a case, an alternative strategy should be implemented.

  • 20.03.4 Time-out seclusion rooms must meet structural guidelines and provide for continuous monitoring, visually and auditorily, of the student's behavior by an adult. (Refer to § 20.04.9 of this part for structural guidelines.)


  • 20.04.1 The teacher or behavioral specialist should have documentation that milder forms of time-out or other reduction techniques have proven ineffective in suppressing the inappropriate behavior.

  • 20.04.2 The use of seclusion time-out and the behaviors which will result in its use must be explicitly stated in the student's IEP. Parent consent for the use of a time-out seclusion procedure should be documented.

  • 20.04.3 Time-out must be paired with a behavioral plan to provide positive reinforcement for appropriate behaviors. This must also be included in the student's IEP.

  • 20.04.4 Written procedures must be developed and followed for each student whose IEP includes the use of time-out.

  • 20.04.5 The following guidelines should be adhered to for effective use of the timeout seclusion room.

  • Avoid lengthy verbal explanations. Behaviors resulting in time-out should be clearly explained prior to implementing the time-out program. Explanations provided during use of time-out should be brief, but should adequately inform the student of his/her misbehavior, such as, "Because you _____, you must go to time-out for ____minutes." All other verbal interaction should be avoided.

  • To maximize opportunities to exercise self-control, students should be given the opportunity to take their own time-out after receiving instructions from the teacher. However, if students refuse to take their own time-out, or if they fail to respond to the teacher’s instructions within a reasonable time interval (5 to 10 seconds), the teacher should physically remove them to the time-out area. (Refer to § 20.03.3 of these regulations regarding physically removing the child to the time-out area.)

  • For high intensity behavior (e.g., kicking, screaming), the student should immediately be escorted to the time-out room.

  • 20.04.6 Time Spent In Time-Out Seclusion Room

  • Length of time spent in the time-out seclusion room must be documented and kept within the specified time limits -

  • A. Preschool - no more than 5 minutes for each exclusion.

  • B. Lower elementary - no more than 15 minutes for each exclusion.

  • C. Middle/upper elementary - no more than 20 minutes for each exclusion. * At the end of the prescribed time, the student should be offered the opportunity to rejoin the class. If the student chooses to stay in time-out, the door must be left open at this time. When a student consistently chooses to stay in the time-out seclusion room beyond the prescribed time limit, the use of this procedure must be reviewed. The time-out room may be providing more reinforcement than the environment from which the student was removed.

  • Should there be a need for a time-out period to extend past the prescribed time limits, the appropriateness of continuing the time-out procedure should be evaluated immediately by knowledgeable professionals (i.e., principal, counselor, special education staff).

  • Careful consideration must be taken in extending the prescribed length of the time-out seclusion. The effectiveness of the time-out procedure is the result of its consistent use, rather than the length of stay in the timeout seclusion room.

  • 20.04.7 Records Must Be Kept Of Each Occasion When Time-Out Seclusion Is Used. The Records Should Include -

  • The student’s name;

  • The behavior for which time-out is being used, as specified in the IEP; and

  • The time of day the student was placed in and released from time-out.

  • 20.04.8 When the use of time-out seclusion is included in a student’s IEP, it is recommended that the use of time-out to address specific student behaviors be reviewed by a knowledgeable professional(s) twice monthly.

  • The use of the time-out seclusion procedure shall be altered or discontinued as a behavioral management technique if data do not support its effectiveness.

  • The continued and/or frequent need for this type of behavioral intervention could indicate that behavioral objectives, management techniques or other factors affecting the learning environment are not appropriately matched with the student’s needs and behaviors.

  • 20.04.9 If A Time-Out Room Is To Be Employed, The Time-Out Room Should -

  • Be at least 4' X 4' and no larger than 6' X 6' in size;

  • Be properly lighted (preferably recessed lighting, with switches outside the room). Lighting should remain on at all times;

  • Be properly ventilated;

  • Be free of objects and fixtures;

  • Provide the means by which an adult can continuously monitor, visually and auditorily, the student’s behavior;

  • The door should be such that it cannot be locked; and

  • Meet state and county fire and safety codes.

  • 20.04.10 In addition, it is necessary that all personnel involved in designing and implementing behavioral management procedures, including the use of timeout seclusion, be adequately trained and supervised. It is imperative that these persons have attained levels of skill and competency so that their qualifications correspond to their responsibilities.

Policy Type

Arkansas Code 6-18-516. Effective school discipline -- Definition

(a) As used in this section, “exclusionary disciplinary actions” means out-of-school suspension and expulsion. (b)

  • (1) Annually, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education shall report at the school, school district, and state level the following data concerning exclusionary disciplinary actions, in-school suspensions, and corporal punishment:
    • (A) Number per one hundred (100) students for the entire population;
    • (B) Number per one hundred (100) students for any racial or ethnic subgroup required for accountability by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Pub. L. No. 114-95;
    • (C) Number per one hundred (100) students for economically disadvantaged students; and
    • (D) Number per one hundred (100) students for students with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
  • (2) The division shall report exclusionary disciplinary actions by both:
    • (A) Combining out-of-school suspensions and expulsions; and
    • (B) Separately listing out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. (c) The division shall report the data required in subsection (b) of this section:
  • (1) On the website of the division to the extent that publication is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; and
  • (2) In a manner that reflects historical trends and allows for the comparison of schools and school districts.
  • (d) The division shall:
  • (1) Provide school districts with resources for the best practices in effective school discipline; and
  • (2) Annually communicate to school districts:
    • (A) The availability of and how to access the data listed in subsection (b) of this section; and
    • (B) How to access the resources listed in subdivision (d)(1) of this section. (e) The division, or researcher identified by the division, shall provide an annual report to the State Board of Education analyzing disciplinary infractions, disciplinary actions, and disciplinary disparities existing throughout the state.
Policy Type

Arkansas Department of Education Advisory Guidelines for the Use of Student Restraints in Public School or Educational Settings 2014

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has developed this advisory document to provide guidelines and recommendations to Arkansas school districts on essential principles, policies, and practices to implement in order to meet the above goals. This document includes (a) definitions of important terms, (b) approaches that prevent the need for student restraint, (c) the responsibilities of Arkansas school districts, (d) guidance on how and when to use a restraint if needed, (e) details on how to communicate, report, and debrief following the use of restraint, and (f) recommended training and program components.

These guidelines are applicable to any school-aged and enrolled student, regardless of whether the student has an identified disability, but they do not supersede federal or state law. Districts must still follow all relevant federal and state laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), whenever a student with a disability is restrained or secluded, or whenever such action is contemplated. Because these laws and legal requirements exist in separate statutes, they are not addressed in this document.

It is recommended that all Arkansas school districts review this document and adopt policies and procedures consistent with the guidance herein. Additionally, school districts should review the ADE Special Education and Related Services, Procedural Requirements, Section 20.00, governing the use of a Time-Out Seclusion Room. The regulatory requirements for the use of Time-Out Seclusion are not addressed in this advisory document. It is further recommended that all Arkansas school districts provide their staff with the training, tools, and supports needed to ensure the safety of all students and personnel.

Policy Type