School districts in Missouri are now required to create a written policy on the use of restraint and seclusion based on a model policy recently developed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Designed to provide staff with clear guidelines regarding the use of seclusion and restraint, Senate bill 291, section 160.263, Restrictive Behavioral Intervention requires each school district to adopt its own written policy by July 1, 2011.
The model policy states that seclusion, isolation, and restraint may only be used in response to emergency or crisis situations. It should not be used as an intervention strategy, and can only be used by trained personnel. Schools should also incorporate positive supports to prevent need for use of seclusion and restraint. The policy applies to all students.
Dr. Randy Boardman, CPI’s executive director of research and development, was invited to serve on the state’s model policy task force. Boardman presented in front of the committee and subsequently worked on policy drafts.
Among other sections of the policy, Boardman specifically commended the committee for adding provisions on all school personnel training, which ensures all personnel are trained annually in the policies and procedures that involve use of seclusion, isolation, and restraint.
In addition, personnel who might use seclusion and/or restraint will receive more annual training in areas including de-escalation practices, methods to explain use of restraint to students and parents, and information on appropriate documentation and notification procedures, among others.
View more information on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.