Texas SB 712 (identical to Texas HB 3630) prohibits the use of certain aversive techniques—those which are intended to reduce the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring by intentionally inflicting significant physical or emotional discomfort or pain—on students enrolled in public schools. Summary of the legislation as follows:
  • Texas SB 712 was adopted and passed into law on 6/10/19. 
  • Texas SB 712 is effective immediately.
  • Texas SB 712 prohibits the use of certain aversive techniques on students enrolled in public schools.
  • "Aversive technique" means a technique or intervention that is intended to reduce the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring by intentionally inflicting on a student significant physical or emotional discomfort or pain.
  • The term includes a technique or intervention that:
    • is designed to or likely to cause physical pain;
    • is designed to or likely to cause physical pain through the use of electric shock or any procedure that involves the use of pressure points or joint locks;
    • involves the directed release of a noxious, toxic, or otherwise unpleasant spray, mist, or substance near the student's face;
    • denies adequate sleep, air, food, water, shelter, bedding, physical comfort, or access to a restroom facility;
    • ridicules or demeans the student in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning or mental health of the student or constitutes verbal abuse;
    • employs a device, material, or object that simultaneously immobilizes all four extremities, including any procedure that results in such immobilization known as prone or supine floor restraint;
    • impairs the student's breathing, including any procedure that involves:
      • applying pressure to the student's torso or neck; or
      • obstructing the student's airway, including placing an object in, on, or over the student's mouth or nose or placing a bag, cover, or mask over the student's face;
    • restricts the student's circulation;
    • secures the student to a stationary object while the student is in a sitting or standing position;
    • inhibits, reduces, or hinders the student's ability to communicate;
    • involves the use of a chemical restraint;
    • constitutes a use of timeout that precludes the student from being able to be involved in and progress appropriately in the required curriculum and, if applicable, toward the annual goals included in the student's individualized education program, including isolating the student by the use of physical barriers; or
    • Deprives the student of the use of one or more of the student's senses.
      • Exception: This aversive technique may be used if the technique is executed in a manner that:
        • does not cause the student discomfort or pain; or
        • complies with the student's individualized education program or behavior intervention plan.
A school district or school district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a school district may not apply an aversive technique, or by authorization, order, or consent, cause an aversive technique to be applied, to a student. 
Texas SB 712
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CPI Training Can Help Your School Comply With Texas Senate Bill 712
CPI offers training and resources to help schools meet legislative mandates like the policy requirements set forth in the Texas Senate Bill 712. Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training equips staff with techniques for both the prevention of and the safe use of restraint. Our train-the-trainer program 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.
  • Behavioral supports.
  • Implementing evidence-based practices.
How to Get Training
Request a consultation to learn how we can bring the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program on-site to your school, or you can attend training in one of more than 170 public locations throughout the US.

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Texas Senate Bill 712
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