Kansas - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
statute; 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.

2017 Kansas Statutes 72-6153 Use of emergency safety interventions; seclusion room requirements; school district policies; dispute resolution procedures.

(a) Emergency safety interventions shall be used only when a student presents a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm to such student or others with the present ability to effect such physical harm. Less restrictive alternatives to emergency safety interventions, such as positive behavior interventions support, shall be deemed inappropriate or ineffective under the circumstances by the school employee witnessing the student’s behavior prior to the use of any emergency safety interventions. The use of an emergency safety intervention shall cease as soon as the immediate danger of physical harm ceases to exist. Violent action that is destructive of property may necessitate the use of an emergency safety intervention. Use of an emergency safety intervention for purposes of discipline, punishment or for the convenience of a school employee shall not meet the standard of immediate danger of physical harm.

(b) A student shall not be subjected to an emergency safety intervention if the student is known to have a medical condition that could put the student in mental or physical danger as a result of the emergency safety intervention. The existence of such medical condition must be indicated in a written statement from the student’s licensed health care provider, a copy of which shall be provided to the school and placed in the student’s file. Such written statement shall include an explanation of the student’s diagnosis, a list of any reasons why an emergency safety intervention would put the student in mental or physical danger and any suggested alternatives to the use of emergency safety interventions. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a student may be subjected to an emergency safety intervention, if not subjecting the student to an emergency safety intervention would result in significant physical harm to the student or others.

(c) When a student is placed in seclusion, a school employee shall be able to see and hear the student at all times.

(d) All seclusion rooms equipped with a locking door shall be designed to ensure that the lock automatically disengages when the school employee viewing the student walks away from the seclusion room, or in cases of emergency, such as fire or severeweather.
(e) A seclusion room shall be a safe place with proportional and similar characteristics as other rooms where students frequent. Such room shall be free of any condition that could be a danger to the student, and shall be well-ventilated and sufficiently lighted.

(f) The following types of restraint shall be prohibited:

  • (1) Prone, or face-down, physical restraint; supine, or face-up physical restraint; physical restraint that obstructs the airway of a student; or any physical restraint that impacts a student’s primary mode of communication;

  • (2) chemical restraint, except as prescribed treatments for a student’s medical or psychiatric condition by a person appropriately licensed to issue such treatments; and

  • (3) mechanical restraint, except those protective or stabilizing devices either ordered by a person appropriately licensed to issue the order for the device or required by law, any device used by a certified law enforcement officer in carrying out law enforcement duties, seatbelts and any other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation.


2017 Kansas Statutes 72-6153 Use of emergency safety interventions; seclusion room requirements; school district policies; dispute resolution procedures.

(g) Each local board shall develop and implement written policies to govern the use of emergency safety interventions in schools. At a minimum, written district policies shall conform to the standards, definitions and requirements of this act.

Such written policies shall include that:

  • (1) (A) School personnel training shall be designed to meet the needs of personnel as appropriate to their duties and potential need for the use of emergency safety interventions;

    • (B) training shall address prevention techniques, de-escalation techniques and positive behavioral intervention strategies;

    • (C) training shall be consistent with nationally recognized training programs; and

    • (D) schools shall maintain written or electronic documentation on training provided and lists of participants in each training for inspection by the Kansas state board of education;

  • (2) a local dispute resolution process shall be developed, which shall include the following:

    • (A) A procedure for a parent to file a complaint with the local board. If a parent believes that an emergency safety intervention has been used on the parent’s child in violation of the act, rules and regulations or the local board’s emergency safety intervention policy, the parent may file a complaint within 30 days of the date on which the parent was informed of the use of the emergency safety intervention;

    • (B) a procedure for complaint investigation;

    • (C) a procedure to implement a dispute-resolution final decision. The local board’s decision shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact and any corrective action required by the school if the local board deems such action necessary. The local board’s final decision shall be mailed to the parent and the department within 30 days of the the local board’s receipt of the complaint; and

    • (D) a procedure setting out the parent’s right to request an administrative review by the state board, including information as to the deadline by which the parent must submit the request to the state board;

  • (3) a system for the collection and maintenance of documentation for each use of an emergency safety intervention as set forth in K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 72-89d04, and amendments thereto;

  • (4) a procedure for the periodic review of the use of emergency safety interventions at each school, which shall be compiled and submitted at least biannually to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee; and

  • (5) a schedule for when and how parents are provided with notice of the local board’s written policies on the use of emergency safety interventions.

(h) Written policies developed pursuant to this act shall be accessible on each school’s website and shall be included in each school’s code of conduct, school safety plan or student handbook.

(i)(1) Campus police officers and school resource officers shall be exempt from the requirements of this act when engaged in an activity that has a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

  • (2) School security officers shall not be exempt from the requirements of this act.

Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-42-5 Administrative Review.

(a) Any parent who filed a written complaint with a local board regarding the use of emergency safety intervention may request an administrative review by the state board of the local board's final decision.

(b) Each parent seeking administrative review shall provide the following information in the request:

  • (1) The name of the student and the student's contact information;

  • (2) the name and contact information, to the extent known, for all involved parties, including teachers, aides, administrators, and district staff;

  • (3) a detailed statement of the basis for seeking administrative review, with all supporting facts and documentation. The documentation shall include a copy of the complaint filed with the local board and shall include the local board's final decision, if issued. The request shall be legibly written or typed and shall be signed by the parent. Relevant written instruments or documents in the possession of the parent shall be attached as exhibits or, if unavailable, referenced in the request for administrative review; and

  • (4) written consent to disclose any personally identifiable information from the student's education records necessary to conduct an investigation pursuant to this regulation.

(c) (1) Each request for administrative review shall be filed with the commissioner within 30 days from the date a final decision is issued pursuant to the local dispute resolution process or, if a final decision is not issued, within 60 days from the date a written complaint was filed with the local board.

  • (2) The hearing officer shall forward a copy of the request for administrative review to the clerk of the local board from whom the administrative review is sought.

(d) Upon receipt of each request for administrative review, the hearing officer shall consider the local board's final decision and may initiate its own investigation of the complaint. Any investigation may include the following:

  • (1) A discussion with the parent, during which additional information may be gathered and specific allegations identified, verified, and recorded;

  • (2) contact with the local board or other district staff against which the request for administrative review is filed to allow the local board to respond to the request with facts and information supporting the local board's final decision; and

  • (3) an on-site investigation by department officers or employees.

(e) If the hearing officer receives information that the hearing officer determines was not previously made available to both parties during the local board dispute resolution process, the hearing officer may remand the issue back to the local board. The local board then has 30 days to issue a written amended final decision.

Upon remand, the hearing officer's case will be closed. All rights to and responsibilities of an administrative review shall begin again when the local board's amended final decision is issued or upon 30 days from when the hearing officer's remand is issued, whichever occurs first.

(f) Within 60 days of the commissioner's receipt of the request for administrative review, the hearing officer shall inform the parent, the school's head administrator, the district superintendent, the local board clerk, and the state board in writing of the results of the administrative review. This time frame may be extended for good cause upon approval of the commissioner.

(g) The results of the administrative review shall contain findings of fact, conclusions of law, and, if needed, suggested corrective action. The hearing officer shall determine whether the district is in violation of this article based solely on the information obtained by the hearing officer during the course of the investigation and the administrative review process. This determination shall include one of the following:

  • (1) The local board appropriately resolved the complaint pursuant to its dispute resolution process.
  • (2) The local board should reevaluate the complaint pursuant to its dispute resolution process with suggested findings of fact.
  • (3) The hearing officer's suggested corrective action is necessary to ensure that local board policies meet the requirements of law.

(h) Nothing in this regulation shall require exhaustion of remedies under this regulation before using procedures or seeking remedies that are otherwise available. (Authorized by and implementing Article 6, Section 2(a) of the Kansas Constitution; effective, T-91-2-17-16, Feb. 17, 2016; effective, June 10, 2016.)
Source: State of Kansas Office of the Secretary of State


Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-42-2 Standards for the use of emergency safety interventions.

(a) An emergency safety intervention shall be used only when a student presents a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm to the student or others with the present ability to effect such physical harm. Less restrictive alternatives to emergency safety interventions, including positive behavior interventions support, shall be deemed inappropriate or ineffective under the circumstances by the school employee witnessing the student's behavior before the use of any emergency safety interventions. The use of an emergency safety intervention shall cease as soon as the immediate danger of physical harm ceases to exist. Violent action that is destructive of property may necessitate the use of an emergency safety intervention.

(b) Use of an emergency safety intervention for purposes of discipline or punishment or for the convenience of a school employee shall not meet the standard of immediate danger of physical harm.

(c)(1) A student shall not be subjected to an emergency safety intervention if the student is known to have a medical condition that could put the student in mental or physical danger as a result of the emergency safety intervention.

  • (2) The existence of the medical condition must be indicated in a written statement from the student's licensed health care provider, a copy of which shall be provided to the school and placed in the student's file. The written statement shall include an explanation of the student's diagnosis, a list of any reasons why an emergency safety intervention would put the student in mental or physical danger and any suggested alternatives to the use of emergency safety interventions.

  • (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a student may be subjected to an emergency safety intervention, if not subjecting the student to an emergency safety intervention would result in significant physical harm to the student or others.

(d) When a student is placed in seclusion, a school employee shall be able to see and hear the student at all times.

(e) Each seclusion room equipped with a locking door shall be designed to ensure that the lock automatically disengages when the school employee viewing the student walks away from the seclusion room, or in cases of emergency, including fire or severe weather.

(f) Each seclusion room shall be a safe place with proportional and similar characteristics as other rooms where students frequent. Each room shall be free of any condition that could be a danger to the student and shall be well-ventilated and sufficiently lighted.

(g) The following types of restraint shall be prohibited:

  • (1) Prone, or face-down, physical restraint;

  • (2) supine, or face-up, physical restraint;

  • (3) any restraint that obstructs the airway of a student;

  • (4) any restraint that impacts a student's primary mode of communication;

  • (5) chemical restraint, except as prescribed treatments for a student's medical or psychiatric condition by a person appropriately licensed to issue these treatments; and

  • (6) the use of mechanical restraint, except those protective or stabilizing devices either ordered by a person appropriately licensed to issue the order for the device or required by law, any device used by a law enforcement officer in carrying out law enforcement duties, and seatbelts and any other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation.

(h) The following shall not be deemed an emergency safety intervention, if its use does not otherwise meet the definition of an emergency safety intervention:

  • (1) Physical escort; and
  • (2) time-out. (Authorized by and implementing Article 6, Section 2(a) of the Kansas Constitution; effective April 19, 2013; amended, T-91-2-17-16, Feb. 17, 2016; amended June 10, 2016; amended July 7, 2017.)
    Source: State of Kansas Office of the Secretary of State

Kansas Administrative Regulation 91-42-3 District policy; training; local board dispute resolution.

a) Each district shall develop and implement written policies to govern the use of emergency safety interventions over all schools. At a minimum, written district policies shall conform to the standards, definitions, and requirements of this article. The written policies shall also include the following:

  • (1)
    (A) School personnel training shall be designed to meet the needs of personnel as appropriate to their duties and potential need for the use of emergency safety interventions;

    • (B) training shall address prevention techniques, de-escalation techniques, and positive behavioral intervention strategies;

    • (C) any training on the use of emergency safety interventions by the district shall be consistent with nationally recognized training programs; and

    • (D) schools and programs shall maintain written or electronic documentation on training provided and lists of participants in each training; and

  • (2) a local dispute resolution process, which shall include the following:

    • (A) A procedure for a parent to file a complaint with the local board. If a parent believes that an emergency safety intervention has been used with the parent's child in violation of this article or the district's emergency safety intervention policy, the parent may file a complaint with the local board. The complaint shall be filed within 30 days of the date on which the parent was informed of the use of that emergency safety intervention;

    • (B) a complaint investigation procedure;

    • (C) a dispute resolution final decision. The local board's final decision shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact and any corrective action required by the district if the local board deems these actions necessary. The local board's final decision shall be mailed to the parent and the department within 30 days of the local board's receipt of the complaint; and

    • (D) a statement of the parent's right to request an administrative review by the state board as specified in K.A.R. 91-42-5, including information as to the deadline by which the parent must submit the request to the state board;

  • (3) a system for the collection and maintenance of documentation for each use of an emergency safety intervention, which shall include the following:

    • (A) The date and time of the emergency safety intervention;

    • (B) the type of emergency safety intervention;

    • (C) the length of time the emergency safety intervention was used;

    • (D) the school personnel who participated in or supervised the emergency safety intervention;

    • (E) whether the student had an individualized education program at the time of the incident;

    • (F) whether the student had a section 504 plan at the time of the incident; and

    • (G) whether the student had a behavior intervention plan at the time of the incident;

  • (4) procedures for the periodic review of the use of emergency safety intervention at each school, which shall be compiled and submitted at least biannually to the district superintendent or district designee; and

  • (5) a schedule for when and how parents are provided with notice of the written policies on the use of emergency safety interventions.

(b) Written policies developed pursuant to this article shall be accessible on each school's web site and shall be included in each school's code of conduct, school safety plan, or student handbook. (Authorized by and implementing Article 6, Section 2(a) of the Kansas Constitution; effective, T-91-2-17-16, Feb. 17, 2016; effective, June 10, 2016.)
Source: State of Kansas Office of the Secretary of State


Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-42-4 Parent notification; required meeting; filing a complaint.

(a) When an emergency safety intervention is used with a student, the school shall notify the parent the same day the emergency safety intervention was used. The school shall attempt to contact the parent using at least two methods of contact, one of which shall be the preferred method of contact if so designated by the parent as specified in this subsection. The same-day notification requirement of this subsection shall be deemed satisfied if the school attempts at least two methods of contact. A parent may designate a preferred method of contact to receive the same-day notification required by this subsection. A parent may agree, in writing, to receive only one same-day notification from the school for multiple incidents occurring on the same day.

(b) The school shall provide written documentation of the emergency safety intervention used to the parent no later than the school day following the day on which the emergency safety intervention was used. This documentation shall include the following:

  • (1) The date and time of the intervention;

  • (2) the type of intervention;

  • (3) the length of time the intervention was used;

  • (4) the school personnel who participated in or supervised the intervention;

  • (5) the events leading up to the incident;

  • (6) the student behaviors that necessitated the emergency safety intervention;

  • (7) the steps taken to transition the student back into the educational setting;

  • (8) space or an additional form for parents to provide feedback or comments to the school regarding the incident;

  • (9) a statement that invites and strongly encourages parents to schedule a meeting to discuss the incident and how to prevent future use of emergency safety interventions; and

  • (10) email and phone information for the parent to contact the school to schedule the emergency safety intervention meeting. Schools may group incidents together when documenting the items in paragraphs (b)(5) through (7) if the triggering issue necessitating the emergency safety interventions is the same.

notification required by this subsection. A parent may agree, in writing, to receive only one same-day notification from the school for multiple incidents occurring on the same day. Written documentation of the use of an emergency safety intervention shall be completed and provided to the parent no later than the school day following the day on which the emergency safety intervention was used. Such written documentation shall include: (A) The events leading up to the incident; (B) student behaviors that necessitated the emergency safety intervention; (C) steps taken to transition the student back into the educational setting; (D) the date and time the incident occurred, the type of emergency safety intervention used, the duration of the emergency safety intervention and the school personnel who used or supervised the emergency safety intervention; (E) space or an additional form for parents to provide feedback or comments to the school regarding the incident; (F) a statement that invites and strongly encourages parents to schedule a meeting to discuss the incident and how to prevent future use of emergency safety interventions; and (G) email and phone information for the parent to contact the school to schedule the emergency safety intervention meeting. Schools may group incidents together when documenting the items in subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) if the triggering issue necessitating the emergency safety interventions is the same.

  • (2) The parent shall be provided the following information after the first incident in which an emergency safety intervention is used during the school year, and may be provided such information after each subsequent incident that occurs during the school year: (A) A copy of the standards of when emergency safety interventions can be used; (B) a flyer on the parent’s rights; (C) information on the parent’s right to file a complaint through the local dispute resolution process and the complaint process of the state board of education; and (D) information that will assist the parent in navigating the complaint process, including contact information for the parent training and information center and protection and advocacy system. Upon the first occurrence of an incident involving the use of emergency safety interventions, the parent shall be provided the foregoing information in printed form or, upon the parent’s written request, by email. Upon the occurrence of a second or subsequent incident, the parent shall be provided with a full and direct website address containing such information.

(b)  If a school is aware that a law enforcement officer or school resource officer has used seclusion, physical restraint or mechanical restraint on a student, the school shall notify the parent the same day using the parent's preferred method of contact. A school shall not be required to provide written documentation to a parent, as set forth in subsection (a)(1) regarding law enforcement use of an emergency safety intervention, or report to the department law enforcement use of an emergency safety intervention. For purposes of this subsection, mechanical restraint includes, but is not limited to, the use of handcuffs.

(c)  The department shall compile reports from schools on the use of emergency safety interventions and provide the results based on aggregate data on the department website, and to the governor and the committees on education in the senate and the house of representatives by January 20, 2016, and annually thereafter. The data governance board of the department shall use the actual data value when providing statewide aggregate data for such reports. The department's reported results shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:

  • (1) The number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who have an individualized education program;
  • (2) the number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who have a section 504 plan;
  • (3) the number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who do not have an individualized education program or a section 504 plan;
  • (4) the total number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students;
  • (5) the total number of students with behavior intervention plans subjected to an emergency safety intervention;
  • (6) the number of students physically restrained;
  • (7) the number of students placed in seclusion;
  • (8) the maximum and median number of minutes a student was placed in seclusion;
  • (9) the maximum number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on a student;
  • (10) the information reported under subsection [subsections] (c)(1) through (c)(3) by the school to the extent possible;
  • (11) the information reported under subsections (c)(1) through (c)(9) aggregated by age, ethnicity, gender and eligibility for free and reduced lunch of the students on a statewide basis; and
  • (12) such other information as the department deems necessary to report.

Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-42-7 Reporting.

(a) Each district shall report information from all incidents of emergency safety interventions that the department deems necessary to the department by the date and in the form specified by the department.

(b) The department shall compile reports from schools on the use of emergency safety interventions and provide the results based on aggregate data on the department web site and to the state board, the governor and the committees on education in the senate and the house of representatives by January 20, 2016, and annually thereafter. The department's reported results shall include but shall not be limited to the following information:

  • (1) The number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who have an individualized education program;

  • (2) the number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who have a section 504 plan;

  • (3) the number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students who do not have an individualized education program or a section 504 plan;

  • (4) the total number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on students;

  • (5) the total number of students with behavior intervention plans subjected to an emergency safety intervention;

  • (6) the number of students physically restrained;

  • (7) the number of students placed in seclusion;

  • (8) the maximum and median number of minutes a student was placed in seclusion;

  • (9) the maximum number of incidents in which emergency safety interventions were used on a student;

  • (10) the information reported under paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) reported by school to the extent possible;

  • (11) the information reported under paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(9) aggregated by age, ethnicity, gender and eligibility for free and reduced lunch of the students on a statewide basis; and

  • (12) any other information that the department deems necessary to report.

(c) Actual data values shall be used when providing statewide aggregate data for the reports.


Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-42-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, each of the following terms shall have the meaning specified in this regulation: (a) "Administrative review" means review by the state board upon request of a parent.

(b) "Chemical restraint" means the use of medication to control a student's violent physical behavior or restrict a student's freedom of movement.

(c) "Commissioner" means commissioner of education.

(d) "Complaint" means a written document that a parent files with a local board as provided for in this article.

(e) "Department" means the state department of education.

(f) "District" means a school district organized under the laws of this state that is maintaining a public school for a school term pursuant to K.S.A. 72-1106, and amendments thereto. This term shall include the governing body of any accredited nonpublic school.

(g) "Emergency safety intervention" means the use of seclusion or physical restraint.

(h) "Hearing officer" means the state board's designee to conduct an administrative review as specified in K.A.R. 91-42-5. The hearing officer shall be an officer or employee of thedepartment.
(i) "Incident" means each occurrence of the use of an emergency safety intervention.

(j) "Local board" means the board of education of a district or the governing body of any accredited nonpublic school.

(k) "Mechanical restraint" means any device or object used to limit a student's movement.
(l) "Parent" means any of the following:

  • (1) A natural parent;

  • (2) an adoptive parent;

  • (3) a person acting as a parent, as defined in K.S.A. 72-1046 and amendments thereto;

  • (4) a legal guardian;

  • (5) an education advocate for a student with an exceptionality;

  • (6) a foster parent, unless the foster parent's child is a student with an exceptionality; or

  • (7) a student who has reached the age of majority or is an emancipated minor.

(m) "Physical escort" means the temporary touching or holding the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or back of a student who is acting out for the purpose of inducing the student to walk to a safe location.

(n) "Physical restraint" means bodily force used to substantially limit a student's movement, except that consensual, solicited, or unintentional contact and contact to provide comfort, assistance or instruction shall not be deemed to be physical restraint.

(o) "School" means any learning environment, including any nonprofit institutional day or residential school or accredited nonpublic school, that receives public funding or which is subject to the regulatory authority of the state board.

(p) "Seclusion" means placement of a student in a location where all the following conditions are met:

  • (1) The student is placed in an enclosed area by school personnel.

  • (2) The student is purposefully isolated from adults and peers.

  • (3) The student is prevented from leaving, or the student reasonably believes that the student will be prevented from leaving, the enclosed area.

(q) "State board" means Kansas state board of education.

(r) "Time-out" means a behavioral intervention in which a student is temporarily removed from a

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