State law requires districts to adopt policies that limit use of restraint and seclusion without addressing comprehensive student protections.
Missouri Revised Statutes 160.263 Confinement of a student prohibited when — policy on restrictive behavioral interventions required — model policy to be developed
1. The school discipline policy under section 160.261 shall prohibit confining a student in an unattended, locked space except for an emergency situation while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement personnel.
2. By July 1, 2011, the local board of education of each school district shall adopt a written policy that comprehensively addresses the use of restrictive behavioral interventions as a form of discipline or behavior management technique. The policy shall be consistent with professionally accepted practices and Standard of student discipline, behavior management, health and safety, including the safe schools act. The policy shall include but not be limited to:
(1) Definitions of restraint, seclusion, and time-out and any other terminology necessary to describe the continuum of restrictive behavioral interventions available for use or prohibited in the district;
(2) Description of circumstances under which a restrictive behavioral intervention is allowed and prohibited and any unique application requirements for specific groups of students such as differences based on age, disability, or environment in which the educational services are provided;
(3) Specific implementation requirements associated with a restrictive behavioral intervention such as time limits, facility specifications, training requirements or supervision requirements; and
(4) Documentation, notice and permission requirements associated with use of a restrictive behavioral intervention.
3. The department of elementary and secondary education shall, in cooperation with appropriate associations, organizations, agencies and individuals with specialized expertise in behavior management, develop a model policy that satisfies the requirements of subsection 2 of this section by July 1, 2010.
Model Policy on Seclusion and Restraint
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's model policy on seclusion and restraint, developed in accordance with Missouri Revised Statues 160.263, recommends the use of seclusion, isolation, and restraint only in response to certain emergency and crisis situations. The model policy also addresses communication with staff and families about the policy and school personnel training on prevention, management, and de-escalation techniques.