Outline of the state of New York
New York
Limits use and includes comprehensive protections

Restraint and Seclusion

Restraint and Seclusion

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.

8 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations 19.5 Prohibition of corporal punishment and aversive interventions.

(a) Prohibition of corporal punishment. (1) No teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of a school district in this State, a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), a charter school, State-operated or State-supported school, an approved preschool program, an approved private school, an approved out-of-State day or residential school, or a registered nonpublic nursery, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school in this State, shall use corporal punishment against a pupil. (2) As used in this section, corporal punishment means any act of physical force upon a pupil for the purpose of punishing that pupil, except as otherwise provided in paragraph 3 of this subdivision. (3) In situations in which alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of reasonable physical force for the following purposes:

  • (i) to protect oneself from physical injury;
  • (ii) to protect another pupil or teacher or any person from physical injury;
  • (iii) to protect the property of the school, school district or others; or
  • (iv) to restrain or remove a pupil whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of school or school district functions, powers and duties, if that pupil has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.

(b) Prohibition of the use of aversive interventions. (1) No public school, BOCES, charter school, approved preschool program, approved private school, State-operated or State-supported school in this State, approved out-of-state day or residential school, or registered nonpublic nursery, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school in this State shall employ the use of aversive behavioral interventions to reduce or eliminate maladaptive behaviors, except as provided pursuant to section 200.22(e) and (f) of this Title. (2) As used in this section, aversive intervention means an intervention that is intended to induce pain or discomfort to a student for the purpose of eliminating or reducing maladaptive behaviors, including such interventions as:

  • (i) contingent application of noxious, painful, intrusive stimuli or activities; strangling, shoving, deep muscle squeezes or other similar stimuli;
  • (ii) any form of noxious, painful or intrusive spray, inhalant or tastes;
  • (iii) contingent food programs that include the denial or delay of the provision of meals or intentionally altering staple food or drink in order to make it distasteful;
  • (iv) movement limitation used as a punishment, including but not limited to helmets and mechanical restraint devices; or
  • (v) other stimuli or actions similar to the interventions described in subparagraphs (i) through (iv) of this paragraph.

The term does not include such interventions as voice control, limited to loud, firm commands; time-limited ignoring of a specific behavior; token fines as part of a token economy system; brief physical prompts to interrupt or prevent a specific behavior; interventions medically necessary for the treatment or protection of the student; or other similar interventions.

Policy Type

8 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations 200.22 Program Standard for behavioral interventions.

(d) Emergency Interventions.

(1) For purposes of this subdivision, emergency means a situation in which immediate intervention involving the use of reasonable physical force pursuant to section 19.5(a)(3) of this Title is necessary.

(2)  Use of emergency interventions.

  • (i) Emergency interventions shall be used only in situations in which alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed.
  • (ii)  Emergency interventions shall not be used as a punishment or as a substitute for systematic behavioral interventions that are designed to change, replace, modify or eliminate a targeted behavior.

(3) Staff training. Staff who may be called upon to implement emergency interventions shall be provided with appropriate training in safe and effective restraint procedures in accordance with section 100.2(l)(1)(i)(g) of this Title and section 200.15(h)(1) of this Part as applicable.

(4) Documentation. The school must maintain documentation on the use of emergency interventions for each student, which shall include the name and date of birth of the student; the setting and the location of the incident; the name of the staff or other persons involved; a description of the incident and the emergency intervention used, including duration; a statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan; and details of any injuries sustained by the student or others, including staff as a result of the incident. The parent of the student shall be notified and documentation of emergency interventions shall be reviewed by school supervisory personnel and, as necessary, the school nurse or other medical personnel.

Policy Type

New York Consolidated Laws 4806. Powers of superintendent and discipline of school

The superintendent of the school shall, subject to the regulations of the board of managers: 4. Prescribe rules for the government and discipline of the pupils of the school and cause such rules to be enforced. Discipline shall be maintained by the honor system so far as practicable. Close or solitary confinement shall not be used excepting when necessary for the maintenance of proper discipline. 6. Give special attention to the proper instruction, detention, restraint, discipline, comfort, physical and moral welfare of the pupils of the school and perform such other duties as may be required of him by the board of managers with a view of carrying out the provisions of this article.

Policy Type