California - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

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.

California Education Code 56521 Behavioral Interventions

(a)  This chapter applies to any individual with exceptional needs who is in a public school program, including a state school for the disabled pursuant to Part 32 (commencing with Section 59000), or who is placed in a nonpublic school program pursuant to Sections 56365 to 56366.5, inclusive.

(b)  The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall monitor and supervise the implementation of this chapter.


California Education Code 56520 Behavioral Interventions

(a)  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

  • (1)  That the state has continually sought to provide an appropriate and meaningful educational program in a safe and healthy environment for all children regardless of possible physical, mental, or emotionally disabling conditions.
  • (2)  That some schoolage individuals with exceptional needs have significant behavioral challenges that have an adverse impact on their learning or the learning of other pupils, or both.
  • (3)  Section 1400(c)(5)(F) of Title 20 of the United States Codestates that research and experience demonstrate that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by providing incentives for positive behavioral interventions and supports to address the learning and behavioral needs of those children.
    • (4)  That procedures for the elimination of maladaptive behaviors shall not include those deemed unacceptable under Section 49001 or those that cause pain or trauma.

(b)  It is the intent of the Legislature:

  • (1)  That children exhibiting serious behavioral challenges receive timely and appropriate assessments and positive supports and interventions in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) and its implementing regulations.
  • (2)  That assessments and positive behavioral interventions and supports be developed and implemented in a manner informed by guidance from the United States Department of Education and technical assistance centers sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs of the United States Department of Education.
  • (3)  That when behavioral interventions, supports, and other strategies are used, they be used in consideration of the pupil’s physical freedom and social interaction, be administered in a manner that respects human dignity and personal privacy, and that ensure a pupil’s right to placement in the least restrictive educational environment.
  • (4)  That behavioral intervention plans be developed and used, to the extent possible, in a consistent manner when the pupil is also the responsibility of another agency for residential care or related services.
  • (5)  That training programs be developed and implemented in institutions of higher education that train teachers and that in-service training programs be made available as necessary in school districts and county offices of education to ensure that adequately trained staff are available to work effectively with the behavioral intervention needs of individuals with exceptional needs.

California Education Code 56524 Behavioral Interventions

The superintendent shall explore with representatives of institutions of higher education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the current training requirements for teachers to ensure that sufficient training is available in appropriate behavioral interventions for people entering the field of education.


California Education Code 56525 Behavioral Interventions

(a)  A person recognized by the national Behavior Analyst Certification Board as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst may conduct behavior assessments and provide behavioral intervention services for individuals with exceptional needs.

(b)  This section does not require a district, special education local plan area, or county office to use a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to conduct behavior assessments and provide behavioral intervention services for individuals with exceptional needs.


California Education Code 56521.1 Behavioral Interventions

(a)  Emergency interventions may only be used to control unpredictable, spontaneous behavior that poses clear and present danger of serious physical harm to the individual with exceptional needs, or others, and that cannot be immediately prevented by a response less restrictive than the temporary application of a technique used to contain the behavior.

(b)  Emergency interventions shall not be used as a substitute for the systematic behavioral intervention plan that is designed to change, replace, modify, or eliminate a targeted behavior.

(c)  No emergency intervention shall be employed for longer than is necessary to contain the behavior. A situation that requires prolonged use of an emergency intervention shall require the staff to seek assistance of the schoolsite administrator or law enforcement agency, as applicable to the situation.

(d)  Emergency interventions shall not include:

  • (1)  Locked seclusion, unless it is in a facility otherwise licensed or permitted by state law to use a locked room.
  • (2)  Employment of a device, material, or objects that simultaneously immobilize all four extremities, except that techniques such as prone containment may be used as an emergency intervention by staff trained in those procedures.
  • (3)  An amount of force that exceeds that which is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.

(e)  To prevent emergency interventions from being used in lieu of planned, systematic behavioral interventions, the parent, guardian, and residential care provider, if appropriate, shall be notified within one schoolday if an emergency intervention is used or serious property damage occurs. A behavioral emergency report shall immediately be completed and maintained in the file of the individual with exceptional needs. The behavioral emergency report shall include all of the following:

  • (1)  The name and age of the individual with exceptional needs.
  • (2)  The setting and location of the incident.
  • (3)  The name of the staff or other persons involved.
  • (4)  A description of the incident and the emergency intervention used, and whether the individual with exceptional needs is currently engaged in any systematic behavioral intervention plan.
  • (5)  Details of any injuries sustained by the individual with exceptional needs, or others, including staff, as a result of the incident.

(f)  All behavioral emergency reports shall immediately be forwarded to, and reviewed by, a designated responsible administrator.

(g)  If a behavioral emergency report is written regarding an individual with exceptional needs who does not have a behavioral intervention plan, the designated responsible administrator shall, within two days, schedule an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting to review the emergency report, to determine the necessity for a functional behavioral assessment, and to determine the necessity for an interim plan. The IEP team shall document the reasons for not conducting the functional behavioral assessment, not developing an interim plan, or both.


California Education Code 56521.2 Behavioral Interventions

(a)  A local educational agency or nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency serving individuals with exceptional needs pursuant to Sections 56365 and 56366, shall not authorize, order, consent to, or pay for the following interventions, or any other interventions similar to or like the following:

  • (1)  Any intervention that is designed to, or likely to, cause physical pain, including, but not limited to, electric shock.
  • (2)  An intervention that involves the release of noxious, toxic, or otherwise unpleasant sprays, mists, or substances in proximity to the face of the individual.
  • (3)  An intervention that denies adequate sleep, food, water, shelter, bedding, physical comfort, or access to bathroom facilities.
  • (4)  An intervention that is designed to subject, used to subject, or likely to subject, the individual to verbal abuse, ridicule, or humiliation, or that can be expected to cause excessive emotional trauma.
  • (5)  Restrictive interventions that employ a device, material, or objects that simultaneously immobilize all four extremities, including the procedure known as prone containment, except that prone containment or similar techniques may be used by trained personnel as a limited emergency intervention.
  • (6)  Locked seclusion, unless it is in a facility otherwise licensed or permitted by state law to use a locked room.
  • (7)  An intervention that precludes adequate supervision of the individual.
  • (8)  An intervention that deprives the individual of one or more of his or her senses.

(b)  In the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, the individualized education program team shall consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior, consistent with Section 1414(d)(3)(B)(i) and (d)(4) of Title 20 of the United States Code and associated federal regulations.

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