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.
Utah Administrative Code R277-605-3. Coaches and School Activity Leaders as Supervisors and Role Models.
(1) Coaches and other designated school leaders shall diligently supervise student athletes at all times while on school-sponsored activities, including supervising students:
- (a) on the field, court, or other competition or performance sites;
- (b) in locker rooms, in seating areas, in eating establishments, and in lodging facilities; and
- (c) while traveling.
(2) A coach or other designated school leader shall be an exemplary role model and may not use alcoholic beverages, tobacco, controlled substances, or participate in promiscuous sexual relationships while on school-sponsored activities.
(3) Coaches, assistants and advisors shall act in a manner consistent with Section 53G-8-209 and may not:
- (a) use foul, abusive, or profane language while engaged in school related activities; or
- (b) permit hazing, demeaning, or assaultive behavior, whether consensual or not, including behavior involving physical violence, restraint, improper touching, or inappropriate exposure of body parts not normally exposed in public settings, forced ingestion of any substance, or any act which would constitute a crime against a person or public order under Utah law. Utah Office of Administrative Rules
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-1. Authority and Purpose.
(1) This rule is authorized by:
- (a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision over public education in the Board;
- (b) Section 53E-3-401(4), which allows the Board to make rules to execute the Board's duties and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution and state law;
- (c) Subsection 53E-3-501(1)(b)(v), which requires the Board to establish rules concerning discipline and control;
- (d) Section 53E-3-509, which requires the Board to adopt rules that require a local school board or governing board of a charter school to enact gang prevention and intervention policies for all schools within the board's jurisdiction;
- (e) Section 53G-8-702, which requires the Board to adopt rules regarding training programs for school principals and school resource officers; and
- (f) Section 53G-8-202, which directs local school boards and charter school governing boards to adopt conduct and discipline policies and directs the Board to develop model policies to assist local school boards and charter school governing boards.
(2)(a) The purpose of this rule is to outline requirements for school discipline plans and policies.
- (b) An LEA's written policies shall include provisions to develop, implement, and monitor the policies for the use of emergency safety interventions in all schools and for all students within each LEA's jurisdiction.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-10. Parent/Guardian Notification and Court Referral
(1) LEA policies shall provide procedures for qualifying minors and their parents to participate in decisions regarding consequences for disruptive student behavior.
(2) An LEA shall establish policies that:
- (a) provide notice to parents and information about resources available to assist a parent in resolving the parent's school-age minors' disruptive behavior;
- (b) provide for notices of disruptive behavior to be issued by schools to qualifying minors and parents consistent with:
- (i) numbers of disruptions and timelines in accordance with Section 53G-8-210;
- (ii) school resources available;
- (iii) cooperation from the appropriate juvenile court in accessing student school records, including:
- (A) attendance;
- (B) grades;
- (C) behavioral reports; and
- (D) other available student school data; and
- (iv) provide due process procedures for minors and parents to contest allegations and citations of disruptive student behavior.
- (a) When a crisis situation occurs that requires the use of an emergency safety intervention to protect the student or others from harm, a school shall notify the LEA and the student's parent or guardian as soon as possible and no later than the end of the school day.
- (b) In addition to the notice described in Subsection (3)(a), if a crisis situation occurs for more than fifteen minutes, the school shall immediately notify:
- (i) the student's parent or guardian; and
- (ii) school administration.
- (d) A notice described in Subsection (3)(a) shall be documented within student information systems (SIS) records.
- (a) A school shall provide a parent or guardian with a copy of any notes or additional documentation taken during a crisis situation upon request of the parent or guardian.
- (b) Within 24 hours of a crisis situation, a school shall notify a parent or guardian that the parent or guardian may request a copy of any notes or additional documentation taken during a crisis situation.
- (c) A parent or guardian may request a time to meet with school staff and administration to discuss a crisis situation.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-11. Model Policies.
(1) The Superintendent shall develop, review regularly, and provide to LEA boards model policies to address disruptive student behavior and appropriate consequences.
(2) The Superintendent shall provide technical assistance to LEAs in developing and implementing policies and training employees in the appropriate use of physical force and emergency safety interventions to the extent of resources available. Utah Office of Admnistrative Rules
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-12. LEA Compliance
If an LEA fails to comply with this rule, the Superintendent may withhold funds in accordance with Rule R277-114 or impose any other sanction authorized by law.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-2. Definitions.
(1) "Discipline" includes:
- (a) imposed discipline; and
- (b) self-discipline.
(2) "Disruptive student behavior" includes:
- (a) the grounds for suspension or expulsion described in Section 53G-8-205; and
- (b) the conduct described in Subsection 53G-8-209(2)(b).
- (a) "Emergency safety intervention" means the use of seclusionary time out or physical restraint when a student presents an immediate danger to self or others.
- (b) An "emergency safety intervention" is not for disciplinary purposes.
(4) "Functional Behavior Assessment" or "FBA" means a systematic process of identifying problem behaviors and the events that reliably predict occurrence and non-occurrence of those behaviors and maintain the behaviors across time.
(5) "Immediate danger" means the imminent danger of physical violence or aggression towards self or others, which is likely to cause serious physical harm.
(6) "Imposed discipline" means a code of conduct prescribed for the highest welfare of the individual and of the society in which the individual lives.
(7) "LEA" includes, for purposes of this rule, the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.
(8) "Physical restraint" means personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of an individual to move the individual's arms, legs, body, or head freely.
(9) "Plan" means an LEA and school-wide written model for prevention and intervention addressing student behavior management and discipline procedures for students.
(10) "Program" means an instructional or behavioral program, including a program:
- (a) provided by contract private providers under the direct supervision of public school staff;
- (b) that receives public funding; or
- (c) for which the Board has regulatory authority.
(11) "Policy" means Standard and procedures that include:
- (a) the provisions of Section 53G-8-202 and additional Standard, procedures, and training adopted in an open meeting by a local board of education or charter school board that:
- (i) defines hazing, bullying, and cyber-bullying;
- (ii) prohibits hazing and bullying;
- (iii) requires annual discussion and training designed to prevent hazing, bullying, cyber-bullying, discipline, and emergency safety interventions, among school employees and students; and
- (iv) provides for enforcement through employment action or student discipline.
(12) "Qualifying minor" means a school-age minor who:
- (a) is at least nine years old; or
- (b) turns nine years old at any time during the school year.
(13) "Restorative justice program" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53G-8-211.
(14) "School" means any public elementary or secondary school or charter school.
(15) "School board" means:
- (a) a local school board; or
- (b) a local charter board.
(16) "School employee" means:
- (a) a school teacher;
- (b) a school staff member;
- (c) a school administrator; or
- (d) any other person employed, directly or indirectly, by an LEA.
(17) "Seclusionary time out" means that a student is:
- (a) placed in a safe enclosed area by school personnel in accordance with the requirements of Rules R392-200 and R710-4;
- (b) purposefully isolated from adults and peers; and
- (c) prevented from leaving, or reasonably believes that the student will be prevented from leaving, the enclosed area.
(18) "Section 504 accommodation plan," required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, means a plan designed to accommodate an individual who has been determined, as a result of an evaluation, to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(19) "Self-Discipline" means a personal system of organized behavior designed to promote self-interest while contributing to the welfare of others.
(20) "Student with a qualifying offense" means a qualifying minor who committed an alleged class C misdemeanor, infraction, status offense on school property, or truancy.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-3. Incorporation of Least Restricted Behavioral Interventions (LRBI) Technical Assistance Manual by Reference
(1) This rule incorporates by reference the LRBI Technical Assistance Manual, dated September 2015, which provides guidance and information in creating successful behavioral systems and supports within Utah's public schools that:
- (a) promote positive behaviors while preventing negative or risky behaviors; and
- (b) create a safe learning environment that enhances all student outcomes.
(2) A copy of the manual is located at:
- (a) https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/d6715b0b-9125-4132-86d3-179d862a895; and
- (b) the Utah State Board of Education.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-4. LEA Responsibility to Develop Plans.
(1) An LEA or school shall develop and implement a board approved comprehensive LEA plan or policy for student and classroom management, and school discipline.
(2) An LEA shall include administration, instruction and support staff, students, parents, community council, and other community members in policy development, training, and prevention implementation so as to create a community sense of participation, ownership, support, and responsibility.
(3) A plan described in Subsection (1) shall include:
- (a) the definitions of Section 53G-8-210;
- (b) written Standard for student behavior expectations, including school and classroom management;
- (c) effective instructional practices for teaching student expectations, including:
- (i) self-discipline;
- (ii) citizenship;
- (iii) civic skills; and
- (iv) social skills;
- (d) systematic methods for reinforcement of expected behaviors;
- (e) uniform and equitable methods for correction of student behavior;
- (f) uniform and equitable methods for at least annual school level data-based evaluations of efficiency and effectiveness;
- (g) an ongoing staff development program related to development of:
- (i) student behavior expectations;
- (ii) effective instructional practices for teaching and reinforcing behavior expectations;
- (iii) effective intervention strategies; and
- (iv) effective strategies for evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions;
- (h) procedures for ongoing training of appropriate school personnel in:
- (i) crisis intervention training;
- (ii) emergency safety intervention professional development; and
- (iii) LEA policies related to emergency safety interventions consistent with evidence-based practice;
- (i) policies and procedures relating to the use and abuse of alcohol and controlled substances by students;
- (j) policies and procedures, consistent with requirements of Rule R277-613, related to:
- (i) bullying;
- (ii) cyber-bullying;
- (iv) hazing; and
- (v) retaliation;
- (k) policies and procedures for the use of emergency safety interventions for all students consistent with evidence-based practices including prohibition of:
- (i) physical restraint, subject to the requirements of Section R277-609-5, except when the physical restraint is allowed as described in Subsection 53G-8-302(2);
- (ii) prone, or face-down, physical restraint;
- (iii) supine, or face-up, physical restraint;
- (iv) physical restraint that obstructs the airway of a student or adversely affects a student's primary mode of communication;
- (v) mechanical restraint, except:
- (A) protective or stabilizing restraints;
- (B) restraints required by law, including seatbelts or any other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation; and
- (C) any device used by a law enforcement officer in carrying out law enforcement duties;
- (vi) chemical restraint, except as:
- (A) prescribed by a licensed physician, or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority under State law, for the standard treatment of a student's medical or psychiatric condition; and
- (B) administered as prescribed by the licensed physician or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority under state law;
- (vii) seclusionary time out, subject to the requirements of Section R277-609-5, except when a student presents an immediate danger of serious physical harm to self or others; and
- (viii) for a student with a disability, emergency safety interventions written into a student's IEP, as a planned intervention, unless:
- (A) school personnel, the family, and the IEP team agree less restrictive means which meet circumstances described in Section R277-608-5 have been attempted;
- (B) a FBA has been conducted; and
- (C) a positive behavior intervention plan based on data analysis has been written into the plan and implemented. Utah Office of Admnistrative Rules
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-5. Physical Restraint and Seclusionary Time Out.
1) When used consistently with an LEA plan under Subsection R277-609-4(1)
- (a) a physical restraint must be immediately terminated when:
- (i) a student is no longer an immediate danger to self or others; or
- (ii) a student is in severe distress; and
- (b) the use of physical restraint shall be for the minimum time necessary to ensure safety and a release criteria, as outlined in LEA policies, must be implemented.
(2) If a public education employee physically restrains a student, the school or the public education employee shall immediately notify:
- (a) the student's parent or guardian; and
- (b) school administration.
(3) A public education employee may not use physical restraint on a student for more than 30 minutes.
(4) In addition to the notice described in Subsection (2), if a public education employee physically restrains a student for more than fifteen minutes, the school or the public education employee shall immediately notify:
- (a) the student's parent or guardian; and
- (b) school administration.
(5) An LEA may not use physical restraint as a means of discipline or punishment.
(6) If a public education employee uses seclusionary time out, the public education employee shall:
- (a) use the minimum time necessary to ensure safety;
- (b) use release criteria as outlined in LEA policies;
- (c) ensure that any door remains unlocked;
- (d) maintain the student within line of sight of the public education employee;
- (e) use the seclusionary time out consistent with the LEA's plan described in Section R277-609-4; and
- (f) ensure that the enclosed area meets the fire and public safety requirements described in R392-200 and R710-4.
(7) If a student is placed in seclusionary time out, the school or the public education employee shall immediately notify:
- (a) the student's parent or guardian; and
- (b) school administration.
(8) A public education employee may not place a student in a seclusionary time out for more than 30 minutes.
(9) In addition to the notice described in Subsection (7), if a public education employee places a student in seclusionary time out for more than fifteen minutes, the school or the public education employee shall immediately notify:
- (a) the student's parent or guardian; and
- (b) school administration.
(10) Seclusionary time out may only be used for maintaining safety.
(11) A public education employee may not use seclusionary time out as a means of discipline or punishment. Utah Office of Admnistrative Rules
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-6. Implementation.
(1) An LEA shall implement strategies and policies consistent with the LEA's plan required in Section R277-609-4.
(2) An LEA shall develop, use and monitor a continuum of intervention strategies to assist students, including students whose behavior in school falls repeatedly short of reasonable expectations, by teaching student behavior expectations, reinforcing student behavior expectations, re-teaching behavior expectations, followed by effective, evidence-based interventions matched to student needs prior to administrative referral.
(3) An LEA shall implement positive behavior interventions and supports as part of the LEA's continuum of behavior interventions strategies.
(4) Nothing in state law or this rule restricts an LEA from implementing policies to allow for suspension of students of any age consistent with due process requirements and consistent with all requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-7. LEA Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI Commitees.
(1) An LEA shall establish an Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI) Committee before September 1, 2015.
(2) The LEA ESI Committee:
- (a) shall include:
- (i) at least two administrators;
- (ii) at least one parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the LEA, appointed by the LEA; and
- (iii) at least two certified educational professionals with behavior training and knowledge in both state rules and LEA discipline policies;
- (b) shall meet often enough to monitor the use of emergency safety intervention in the LEA;
- (c) shall determine and recommend professional development needs; and
- (d) shall develop policies for local dispute resolution processes to address concerns regarding disciplinary actions.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-8. LEA Reporting
(1) An LEA shall have procedures for the collection, maintenance, and periodic review of documentation or records of the use of emergency safety interventions at schools within the LEA. (2) The Superintendent shall define the procedures for the collection, maintenance, and review of records described in Subsection (1). (3) An LEA shall provide documentation of any school, program or LEA's use of emergency safety interventions to the Superintendent annually. (4)
- (a) An LEA shall submit all required UTREx discipline incident data elements to the Superintendent no later than June 30, 2018.
- (b) Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, an LEA shall submit all required UTREx discipline incident data elements as part of the LEA's daily UTREx submission.
Utah Administrative Code R277-609-9. Special Education Exception(s) to this Rule
(1) An LEA shall have in place, as part of its LEA special education policies, procedures, or practices, criteria and steps for using emergency safety interventions consistent with state and federal law. (2) The Superintendent shall periodically review:
- (a) all LEA special education behavior intervention, procedures, and manuals; and
- (b) emergency safety intervention data as related to IDEA eligible students in accordance with Utah's Program Improvement and Planning System.
Utah Code 53G-8-203. Conduct and discipline policies and procedures.
(1) The conduct and discipline policies required under Section 53G-8-202 shall include:
- (a) provisions governing student conduct, safety, and welfare;
- (b) Standard and procedures for dealing with students who cause disruption in the classroom, on school grounds, on school vehicles, or in connection with school-related activities or events;
- (c) procedures for the development of remedial discipline plans for students who cause a disruption at any of the places referred to in Subsection (1)(b);
- (d) procedures for the use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint in dealing with students posing a danger to themselves or others, consistent with Section 53G-8-302;
Utah Code 53G-8-209. Extracurricular activities -- Prohibited conduct -- Reporting of violations -- Limitation of liability.
(2) (a) The state board may, and local boards of education and governing boards of charter schoolsschool boards and charter school governing boards shall, adopt rules implementing this section that apply to both students and staff.
- (b) The rules described in Subsection (2)(a) shall include prohibitions against the following types of conduct in accordance with Section 53G-8-211, while in the classroom, on school property, during school sponsored activities, or regardless of the location or circumstance, affecting a person or property described in Subsections 53G-8-203(1)(e)(i) through (i)(v):
- (i) use of foul, abusive, or profane language while engaged in school related activities;
- (ii) illicit use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, and the use, possession, or distribution of an electronic cigarette as defined in Section 76-10-101, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages contrary to law; and
- (iii) hazing, demeaning, or assaultive behavior, whether consensual or not, including behavior involving physical violence, restraint, improper touching, or inappropriate exposure of body parts not normally exposed in public settings, forced ingestion of any substance, or any act which would constitute a crime against a person or public order under Utah law.
Utah Code 53G-8-301. Definitions.
(3) "Physical restraint" means a personal restriction that immobilizes or significantly reduces the ability of a student to move the student's arms, legs, body, or head freely.
Utah Code 53G-8-302. Prohibition of corporal punishment -- Use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint.
(1) A school employee may not inflict or cause the infliction of corporal punishment upon a student.
(2) A school employee may use reasonable and necessary physical restraint in self defense or when otherwise appropriate to the circumstances to:
- (a) obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object in the possession or under the control of a student;
- (b) protect a student or another individual from physical injury;
- (c) remove from a situation a student who is violent; or
- (d) protect property from being damaged, when physical safety is at risk.
(3) Nothing in this section prohibits a school employee from using less intrusive means, including a physical escort, to address circumstances described in Subsection (2).
Utah Code 53G-8-303. Investigation of complaint — Confidentiality — Immunity.
- (a) The reporting and investigation requirements of Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting Requirements, apply to complaints on corporal punishment.
- (b) If a violation is confirmed, school authorities shall take prompt and appropriate action, including in-service training and other administrative action, to ensure against a repetition of the violation.
(2) Reports made on violations of this part are subject to the same requirements of confidentiality as provided under Section 62A-4a-412.
(3) Any school or individual who in good faith makes a report or cooperates in an investigation by a school or authorized public agency concerning a violation of this part is immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result by reason of those actions.
Utah Code 53G-8-304. Liability.
- (a) Corporal punishment which would, but for this part, be considered to be reasonable discipline of a minor under Section 76-2-401 may not be used as a basis for any civil or criminal action.
- (b) A court of competent jurisdiction may take appropriate action against any employing entity if the court finds that the employing entity has not taken reasonable steps to enforce the provisions of this part.
(2) Civil or criminal action may proceed without hindrance in the case of corporal punishment which would not be reasonable discipline under Sections 53G-8-305 and 76-2-401.
Utah Code 53G-8-305. Exception.
Behavior reduction intervention which is in compliance with Section 76-2-401 and with state and local rules adopted under Section 53E-7-204 is excepted from this part.