28A.600.480  <<  28A.600.485 >>   28A.600.486

RCW 28A.600.485

Restraint of students—Use of restraint or isolation specified in individualized education programs or plans developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973—Procedures—Summary of incidents of isolation or restraint—Publishing to web site.

(1) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Isolation" means restricting the student alone within a room or any other form of enclosure, from which the student may not leave. It does not include a student's voluntary use of a quiet space for self-calming, or temporary removal of a student from his or her regular instructional area to an unlocked area for purposes of carrying out an appropriate positive behavior intervention plan.
(b) "Restraint" means physical intervention or force used to control a student, including the use of a restraint device to restrict a student's freedom of movement. It does not include appropriate use of a prescribed medical, orthopedic, or therapeutic device when used as intended, such as to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment, or to permit a student to safely participate in activities.
(c) "Restraint device" means a device used to assist in controlling a student, including but not limited to metal handcuffs, plastic ties, ankle restraints, leather cuffs, other hospital-type restraints, pepper spray, tasers, or batons. Restraint device does not mean a seat harness used to safely transport students. This section shall not be construed as encouraging the use of these devices.
(2) The provisions of this section apply to all students, including those who have an individualized education program or plan developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973. The provisions of this section apply only to incidents of restraint or isolation that occur while a student is participating in school-sponsored instruction or activities.
(3)(a) An individualized education program or plan developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973 must not include the use of restraint or isolation as a planned behavior intervention unless a student's individual needs require more specific advanced educational planning and the student's parent or guardian agrees. All other plans may refer to the district policy developed under subsection (3)(b) of this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the provision of a free appropriate public education under Part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act or section 504 of the federal rehabilitation act of 1973.
(b) Restraint or isolation of any student is permitted only when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm, as defined in *RCW 70.96B.010. 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. Each school district shall adopt a policy providing for the least amount of restraint or isolation appropriate to protect the safety of students and staff under such circumstances.
(4) Following the release of a student from the use of restraint or isolation, the school must implement follow-up procedures. These procedures must include: (a) 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; and (b) 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.
(5) Any school employee, resource officer, or school security officer who uses isolation or restraint on a student during school-sponsored instruction or activities must inform the building administrator or building administrator's designee as soon as possible, and within two business days submit a written report of the incident to the district office. The written report must include, at a minimum, the following information:
(a) The date and time of the incident;
(b) The name and job title of the individual who administered the restraint or isolation;
(c) A description of the activity that led to the restraint or isolation;
(d) The type of restraint or isolation used on the student, including the duration;
(e) Whether the student or staff was physically injured during the restraint or isolation incident and any medical care provided; and
(f) Any recommendations for changing the nature or amount of resources available to the student and staff members in order to avoid similar incidents.
(6) The principal or principal's designee must make a reasonable effort to verbally inform the student's parent or guardian within twenty-four hours of the incident, and must send written notification as soon as practical but postmarked no later than five business days after the restraint or isolation occurred. If the school or school district customarily provides the parent or guardian with school-related information in a language other than English, the written report under this section must be provided to the parent or guardian in that language.
(7)(a) Beginning January 1, 2016, and by January 1st annually, each school district shall summarize the written reports received under subsection (5) of this section and submit the summaries to the office of the superintendent of public instruction. For each school, the school district shall include the number of individual incidents of restraint and isolation, the number of students involved in the incidents, the number of injuries to students and staff, and the types of restraint or isolation used.
(b) No later than ninety days after receipt, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall publish to its web site the data received by the districts. The office of the superintendent of public instruction may use this data to investigate the training, practices, and other efforts used by schools and districts to reduce the use of restraint and isolation.
NOTES:
*Reviser's note: RCW 70.96B.010 was repealed by 2016 sp.s. c 29 § 301, effective April 1, 2018.
Finding2015 c 206: See note following RCW 28A.155.020.
Findings2013 c 202: "The legislature finds that preserving a safe and beneficial learning environment for all students requires the establishment and enforcement of appropriate student discipline policies. The legislature further finds that although physical restraint and isolation of a student should be avoided, there may be circumstances where school district boards of directors have authorized these actions to preserve the safety of other students and school staff. Nevertheless, if an incident of student restraint or isolation occurs, school personnel should be held accountable for providing a thorough explanation of the circumstances." [ 2013 c 202 § 1.]
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