Georgia - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Regulation
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.

Georgia Administrative Code 160-5-1-.35. Seclusion and Restraint for All Students

(1) DEFINITIONS

  • (a)  Chemical restraint - any medication that is used to control 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 Georgia public schools and educational programs.
  • (b)  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 Georgia public schools and educational programs.
  • (c)  Physical restraint - direct physical contact from an adult that prevents or significantly restricts a student's movement. The term physical restraint does not include prone restraint, mechanical restraint, or chemical restraint. Additionally, physical restraint does not include: providing limited physical contact and/or redirection to promote student safety, providing physical guidance or prompting when teaching a skill, redirecting attention, providing guidance to a location, or providing comfort.
  • (d)  Prone restraint - a specific type of restraint in which a student is intentionally placed face down on the floor or another surface, and physical pressure is applied to the student's body to keep the student in the prone position. Use of prone restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs.
  • (e)  Seclusion - a procedure that isolates and confines the student in a separate 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 may also be referred to as monitored seclusion, seclusion timeout, or isolated timeout. 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)(g) 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 Georgia public schools and educational programs.
  • (g) Time-out - a behavioral intervention in which the student is temporarily removed from the learning activity but in which the student is not confined.

Georgia Administrative Code 160-5-1-.35. Seclusion and Restraint for All Students

(2) REQUIREMENTS

  • (a) The use of seclusion is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs.

  • (b) The use of prone restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs.

  • (c) The use of mechanical restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs.

  • (d) The use of chemical restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs.

  • (e) The use of physical restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs except in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques.

      1. Notwithstanding the foregoing, physical restraint is prohibited in Georgia public schools and educational programs:
        • (i) as a form of discipline or punishment,
        • (ii) when the student cannot be safely restrained, and
        • (iii) when the use of the intervention would be contraindicated due to the student's psychiatric, medical, or physical conditions as described in the student's educational records.
  • (f) All physical restraint must be immediately terminated when the student is no longer an immediate danger to himself or others or if the student is observed to be in severe distress.

  • (g) Schools and programs that use physical restraint in accordance with paragraph (2)(e) of this rule must develop and implement written policies to govern the use of physical restraint. Parents must be provided information regarding the school or program's policies governing the use of physical restraint. The written policies must include the following provisions:

      1. Staff and faculty training on the use of physical restraint and the school or programs policy and procedures,
      1. Written parental notification when physical restraint is used to restrain their student within a reasonable time not to exceed one school day from the use of restraint,
      1. Procedures for observing and monitoring the use of physical restraint.
      1. The use of physical restraint to be documented by staff or faculty participating in or supervising the restraint for each student in each instance in which the student is restrained.
      1. Procedures for the periodic review of the use of restraint and the documentation described in paragraph (2)(g)4.
  • (h) Schools and programs that use physical restraints in accordance with paragraph (2)(e) of this rule, must ensure that staff and faculty are trained in the use of physical restraint. This training shall be provided as a part of a program which addresses a full continuum of positive behavioral intervention strategies as well as prevention and de-escalation techniques. Schools and programs must maintain written or electronic documentation on training provided and the list of participants in each training. Records of such training must be made available to the Georgia Department of Education or any member of the public upon request.

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