Florida - 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.

Florida Statutes 1003.573 Use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities

(1) Documentation and reporting.

  • (a)  A school shall prepare an incident report within 24 hours after a student is released from restraint or seclusion. If the student’s release occurs on a day before the school closes for the weekend, a holiday, or another reason, the incident report must be completed by the end of the school day on the day the school reopens.
  • (b)  The following must be included in the incident report:
    • 1.  The name of the student restrained or secluded.
    • 2.  The age, grade, ethnicity, and disability of the student restrained or secluded.
    • 3.  The date and time of the event and the duration of the restraint or seclusion.
    • 4.  The location at which the restraint or seclusion occurred.
    • 5.  A description of the type of restraint used in terms established by the Department of Education.
    • 6.  The name of the person using or assisting in the restraint or seclusion of the student.
    • 7.  The name of any nonstudent who was present to witness the restraint or seclusion.
    • 8.  A description of the incident, including:
      • a.  The context in which the restraint or seclusion occurred.
      • b.  The student’s behavior leading up to and precipitating the decision to use manual or physical restraint or seclusion, including an indication as to why there was an imminent risk of serious injury or death to the student or others.
      • c.  The specific positive behavioral strategies used to prevent and deescalate the behavior.
      • d.  What occurred with the student immediately after the termination of the restraint or seclusion.
      • e.  Any injuries, visible marks, or possible medical emergencies that may have occurred during the restraint or seclusion, documented according to district policies.
      • f.  Evidence of steps taken to notify the student’s parent or guardian.
  • (c)  A school shall notify the parent or guardian of a student each time manual or physical restraint or seclusion is used. Such notification must be in writing and provided before the end of the school day on which the restraint or seclusion occurs. Reasonable efforts must also be taken to notify the parent or guardian by telephone or computer e-mail, or both, and these efforts must be documented. The school shall obtain, and keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed acknowledgment that he or she was notified of his or her child’s restraint or seclusion.
  • (d)  A school shall also provide the parent or guardian with the completed incident report in writing by mail within 3 school days after a student was manually or physically restrained or secluded. The school shall obtain, and keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed acknowledgment that he or she received a copy of the incident report.

(2) Monitoring.

  • (a)  Monitoring of the use of manual or physical restraint or seclusion on students shall occur at the classroom, building, district, and state levels.
  • (b)  Documentation prepared as required in subsection (1) shall be provided to the school principal, the district director of Exceptional Student Education, and the bureau chief of the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services electronically each month that the school is in session.
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