Washington HB 1240 [PDF], signed into law on May 8, 2015 and effective on July 24, 2015, concerns restraint and seclusion in public schools in Washington State. It amends the previous law, RCW 28A.155.020 and 28A.600.485, creating a new section, and changes a previous section that only applied to children with IEPs to apply to all students.
Key points of the bill include:  
  • It bans physically restraining or isolating a student unless there is a situation of likely imminent harm.
  • It requires each school district to adopt a policy where the least amount of seclusion or restraint is used when seclusion or restraint become necessary. Restraint or isolation must be closely monitored to prevent harm to the student, and must be discontinued as soon as the likelihood of serious harm has dissipated.
  • It bans aversive interventions.
  • It changes the definition of isolation to not include students voluntarily using an unlocked quiet space. 
  • It bans the planned use of seclusion and restraint in an IEP unless there is a necessity for advanced education planning and the student’s parent or guardian agree.
  • For students without the need for advanced education planning, it requires staff to adhere to the imminent likelihood of serious harm metric. 

The bill also states that if restraint is used, the school must implement follow-up procedures that include:
  • Reviewing the incident with the student and the parent or guardian to address the behavior that precipitated the restraint or isolation and the appropriateness of the response.
  • Reviewing the incident with the staff member who administered the restraint or isolation to discuss whether proper procedures were followed and what training or support the staff member needs to help the student avoid similar incidents.
CPI Training Can Help You Comply
Schools throughout the US use our Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program because it focuses on prevention, de-escalation techniques, and other alternatives to restraint. Our training helps staff identify underlying causes of student behaviors, and how staff and student behaviors affect each other. The program also emphasizes:
  • Evaluating risk of harm and signs of distress
  • Documenting incidents
  • Safer, less restrictive holding skills to be used only as a last resort
  • Debriefing strategies to help prevent incidents from recurring
Get details [PDF] on how Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training can help you comply with the regulations.

How to Get Training
We can bring the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program on-site to your school, or you can attend training in one of more than 150 public locations throughout the US.
Additional Courses
CPI also offers courses and resources on autism spectrum disorders, trauma-informed care, integrating PBIS with training, and many more topics to help you increase care and safety for everyone in your school.
More Resources
Get helpful hints for crisis intervention and learn about CPI training and restraint reduction.