Nevada - 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.

Nevada Revised Statutes 388.491. “Mechanical restraint” defined.

“Mechanical restraint” means the use of devices, including, without limitation, mittens, straps and restraint chairs to limit a person's movement or hold a person immobile.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.499. Physical restraint and mechanical restraint prohibited; exceptions.

A person employed by the board of trustees of a school district or any other person shall not:

  1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 388.501, use physical restraint on a pupil with a disability.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 388.503, use mechanical restraint on a pupil with a disability.

Nevada Revised Statutes 388.494. “Physical restraint” defined.

“Physical restraint” means the use of physical contact to limit a person's movement or hold a person immobile.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.503. Conditions under which mechanical restraint may be used; report required; requirements if pupil has three or five reports of use of restraint in 1 school year.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, mechanical restraint may be used on a pupil with a disability only if:

    • (a) An emergency exists that necessitates the use of mechanical restraint;
    • (b) A medical order authorizing the use of mechanical restraint from the pupil’s treating physician or advanced practice registered nurse is included in the pupil’s individualized education program before the application of the mechanical restraint;
    • (c) The physician or advanced practice registered nurse who signed the order required pursuant to paragraph (b) or the attending physician or attending advanced practice registered nurse examines the pupil as soon as practicable after the application of the mechanical restraint;
    • (d) The mechanical restraint is applied by a member of the staff of the school who is trained and qualified to apply mechanical restraint;
    • (e) The pupil is given the opportunity to move and exercise the parts of his or her body that are restrained at least 10 minutes per every 60 minutes of restraint, unless otherwise prescribed by the physician or advanced practice registered nurse who signed the order;
    • (f) A member of the staff of the school lessens or discontinues the restraint every 15 minutes to determine whether the pupil will stop injury to himself or herself without the use of the restraint;
    • (g) The record of the pupil contains a notation that includes the time of day that the restraint was lessened or discontinued pursuant to paragraph (f), the response of the pupil and the response of the member of the staff of the school who applied the mechanical restraint;
    • (h) A member of the staff of the school continuously monitors the pupil during the time that mechanical restraint is used on the pupil; and
    • (i) The mechanical restraint is used only for the period that is necessary to contain the behavior of the pupil so that the pupil is no longer an immediate threat of causing physical injury to himself or herself.
  2. Mechanical restraint may be used on a pupil with a disability and the provisions of subsection 1 do not apply if the mechanical restraint is used to:

    • (a) Treat the medical needs of the pupil;
    • (b) Protect a pupil who is known to be at risk of injury to himself or herself because he or she lacks coordination or suffers from frequent loss of consciousness;
    • (c) Provide proper body alignment to a pupil; or
    • (d) Position a pupil who has physical disabilities in a manner prescribed in the pupil’s individualized education program.
  3. If mechanical restraint is used on a pupil with a disability in an emergency, the use of the procedure must be reported in the pupil’s cumulative record and a confidential file maintained for the pupil not later than 1 working day after the procedure is used. A copy of the report must be provided to the board of trustees of the school district or its designee, the pupil’s individualized education program team and the parent or guardian of the pupil. If the board of trustees or its designee determines that a denial of the pupil’s rights has occurred, the board of trustees or its designee shall submit a report to the Department in accordance with NRS 388.513.

  4. If a pupil with a disability has three reports of the use of mechanical restraint in his or her record pursuant to subsection 3 in 1 school year, the school district shall notify the school in which the pupil is enrolled to review the circumstances of the use of the restraint on the pupil and provide a report of its findings to the school district.

  5. If a pupil with a disability has five reports of the use of mechanical restraint in his or her record pursuant to subsection 3 in 1 school year, the pupil’s individualized education program must be reviewed in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1414 et seq., and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto. If mechanical restraint continues after the pupil’s individualized education program has been reviewed, the school district and the parent or legal guardian of the pupil shall include in the pupil’s individualized education program additional methods that are appropriate for the pupil to ensure that restraint does not continue, including, without limitation, mentoring, training, a functional behavioral assessment, a positive behavior plan and positive behavioral supports.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.497. Aversive intervention prohibited.

A person employed by the board of trustees of a school district or any other person shall not use any aversive intervention on a pupil with a disability.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.473. “Aversive intervention” defined.

“Aversive intervention” means any of the following actions if the action is used to punish a pupil with a disability or to eliminate, reduce or discourage maladaptive behavior of a pupil with a disability:

  1. The use of noxious odors and tastes;
  2. The use of water and other mists or sprays;
  3. The use of blasts of air;
  4. The use of corporal punishment;
  5. The use of verbal and mental abuse;
  6. The use of electric shock;
  7. The administration of chemical restraint to a person;
  8. The placement of a person alone in a room where release from the room is prohibited by a mechanism, including, without limitation, a lock, device or object positioned to hold the door closed or otherwise prevent the person from leaving the room;
  9. Requiring a person to perform exercise under forced conditions if the:
    • (a) Person is required to perform the exercise because he or she exhibited a behavior that is related to his or her disability;
    • (b) Exercise is harmful to the health of the person because of his or her disability; or
    • (c) Nature of the person’s disability prevents him or her from engaging in the exercise; or
  10. The deprivation of necessities needed to sustain the health of a person, regardless of the length of the deprivation, including, without limitation, the denial or unreasonable delay in the provision of:
    • (a) Food or liquid at a time when it is customarily served; or
    • (b) Medication.

Nevada Revised Statute 388.476. “Chemical restraint” defined.

“Chemical restraint” means the administration of drugs for the specific and exclusive purpose of controlling an acute or episodic aggressive behavior when alternative intervention techniques have failed to limit or control the behavior. The term does not include the administration of drugs on a regular basis, as prescribed by a physician, to treat the symptoms of mental, physical, emotional or behavioral disorders and for assisting a person in gaining self-control over his or her impulses.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.501. Conditions under which physical restraint may be used; report required; requirements if pupil has three or five reports of use of restraint in 1 school year.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, physical restraint may be used on a pupil with a disability only if:

    • (a) An emergency exists that necessitates the use of physical restraint;
    • (b) The physical restraint is used only for the period that is necessary to contain the behavior of the pupil so that the pupil is no longer an immediate threat of causing physical injury to the pupil or to others or causing severe property damage; and
    • (c) The use of force in the application of physical restraint does not exceed the force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances precipitating the use of physical restraint.
  2. Physical restraint may be used on a pupil with a disability and the provisions of subsection 1 do not apply if the physical restraint is used to:

    • (a) Assist the pupil in completing a task or response if the pupil does not resist the application of physical restraint or if the pupil's resistance is minimal in intensity and duration;
    • (b) Escort or carry the pupil to safety if the pupil is in danger in his or her present location; or
    • (c) Conduct medical examinations or treatments on the pupil that are necessary.
  3. If physical restraint is used on a pupil with a disability in an emergency, the use of the procedure must be reported in the pupil's cumulative record and a confidential file maintained for the pupil not later than 1 working day after the procedure is used. A copy of the report must be provided to the board of trustees of the school district or its designee, the pupil's individualized education program team and the parent or guardian of the pupil. If the board of trustees or its designee determines that a denial of the pupil's rights has occurred, the board of trustees or its designee shall submit a report to the Department in accordance with NRS 388.513.

  4. If a pupil with a disability has three reports of the use of physical restraint in his or her record pursuant to subsection 3 in 1 school year, the school district shall notify the school in which the pupil is enrolled to review the circumstances of the use of the restraint on the pupil and provide a report to the school district on its findings.

  5. If a pupil with a disability has five reports of the use of physical restraint in his or her record pursuant to subsection 3 in 1 school year, the pupil's individualized education program must be reviewed in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1414 et seq., and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto. If physical restraint continues after the pupil's individualized education program has been reviewed, the school district and the parent or legal guardian of the pupil shall include in the pupil's individualized education program additional methods that are appropriate for the pupil to ensure that the restraint does not continue, including, without limitation, mentoring, training, a functional behavioral assessment, a positive behavior plan and positive behavioral supports.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.505. Mandatory education and training for staff.

  1. The Department shall develop a model program of education for use by the school districts to train the members of the staff of the schools within the school districts who are identified in the individualized education programs of pupils with disabilities to provide services to those pupils. The model program of education must provide instruction in positive behavioral interventions and positive behavioral supports that:

    • (a) Includes positive methods to modify the environment of pupils with disabilities to promote adaptive behavior and reduce the occurrence of inappropriate behavior;
    • (b) Includes methods to teach skills to pupils with disabilities so that the pupils can replace inappropriate behavior with adaptive behavior;
    • (c) Includes methods to enhance the independence and quality of life for pupils with disabilities;
    • (d) Includes the use of the least intrusive methods to respond to and reinforce the behavior of pupils with disabilities; and
    • (e) Offers a process for designing interventions based upon the pupil that are focused on promoting appropriate changes in behavior as well as enhancing the overall quality of life for the pupil.
  2. The board of trustees of each school district shall provide for appropriate training for the members of the staff of the schools within the school district who are authorized to carry out and monitor physical restraint and mechanical restraint to ensure that those members of the staff are qualified to carry out the procedures in accordance with NRS 388.471 to 388.515, inclusive.


Nevada Revised Statutes 388.515. Annual report by school districts on use of restraint and violations; compilation of reports by Department; submission of compilation to Legislature.

  1. The board of trustees of each school district shall, on or before August 1 of each year, prepare a report in the form prescribed by the Department that includes, without limitation, for each school within the school district:

    • (a) The number of instances in which physical restraint was used at the school during the immediately preceding school year, which must indicate the number of instances per teacher employed at the school and per pupil enrolled at the school without disclosing personally identifiable information about the teacher or the pupil;
    • (b) The number of instances in which mechanical restraint was used at the school during the immediately preceding school year, which must indicate the number of instances per teacher employed at the school and per pupil enrolled at the school without disclosing personally identifiable information about the teacher or the pupil; and
    • (c) The number of violations of <a href"https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-388.html#NRS388Sec471">NRS 388.471 to 388.515, inclusive, by type of violation, which must indicate the number of violations per teacher employed at the school and per pupil enrolled at the school without disclosing personally identifiable information about the teacher or the pupil.
  2. The board of trustees of each school district shall prescribe a form for each school within the school district to report the information set forth in subsection 1 to the school district and the time by which those reports must be submitted to the school district.

  3. On or before August 15 of each year, the board of trustees of each school district shall submit to the Department the written report prepared by the board of trustees pursuant to subsection 1.

  4. The Department shall compile the data received by each school district pursuant to subsection 3 and prepare a written report of the compilation, disaggregated by school district. On or before October 1 of each year, the Department shall submit the written compilation:

    • (a) In even-numbered years, to the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau for transmission to the next regular session of the Legislature.
    • (b) In odd-numbered years, to the Legislative Committee on Education.
  5. If a particular item in a report required pursuant to this section would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual pupil or teacher, that item must not be included in the report.

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