Florida Senate - 2012 SB 144
By Senator Flores
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to the use, prevention, and reduction
3 of seclusion and restraint on students with
4 disabilities in public schools; amending s. 1003.573,
5 F.S.; providing definitions; providing legislative
6 findings and intent; requiring that manual physical
7 restraint be used only in an emergency when there is
8 an imminent risk of serious injury or death to the
9 student or others; providing restrictions on the use
10 of manual physical restraint; prohibiting the use of
11 manual physical restraint by school personnel who are
12 not certified to use district-approved methods for
13 applying restraint techniques; prohibiting specified
14 techniques; requiring that each school medically
15 evaluate a student after the student is manually
16 physically restrained; prohibiting school personnel
17 from placing a student in seclusion; providing
18 requirements for the use of time-out; requiring that a
19 school district report its training and certification
20 procedures to the Department of Education; requiring
21 that school personnel be trained and certified in the
22 use of manual physical restraint; requiring that a
23 school review a student’s functional behavior
24 assessment and positive behavioral intervention plan
25 under certain circumstances; requiring that parents be
26 notified of a school district’s policies regarding the
27 use of manual physical restraint; requiring that each
28 school send a redacted copy of any incident report or
29 other documentation to the Advocacy Center for Persons
30 with Disabilities, Inc.; requiring that the department
31 make available on its website data of incidents of
32 manual physical restraint by a specified date;
33 requiring that each school district develop policies
34 and procedures addressing the allowable use of manual
35 physical restraint, personnel authorized to use such
36 restraint, training procedures, analysis of data
37 trends, and the reduction of the use of manual
38 physical restraint; requiring that any revisions to a
39 school district’s policies and procedures be filed
40 with the bureau chief of the Bureau of Exceptional
41 Education and Student Services by a specified date;
42 providing an effective date.
44 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
46 Section 1. Section 1003.573, Florida Statutes, is amended
47 to read:
48 1003.573 Use, prevention, and reduction of seclusion and
49 restraint on students with disabilities in public schools
50 restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities.—
51 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
52 (a) “Department” means the Department of Education.
53 (b) “Imminent risk of serious injury or death” means the
54 impending risk of a significant injury, such as a laceration,
55 bone fracture, substantial hematoma, or other injury to internal
56 organs, or death.
57 (c) “Manual physical restraint” means the use of physical
58 restraint techniques that involve physical force applied by a
59 teacher or other staff member to restrict the movement of all or
60 part of a student’s body.
61 (d) “Mechanical restraint” means the use of a physical
62 device that restricts a student’s movement or restricts the
63 normal function of a student’s body. The term includes the use
64 of straps, belts, tie-downs, calming blankets, and chairs with
65 straps; however, the term does not include the use of:
66 1. Medical protective equipment;
67 2. Physical equipment or orthopedic appliances, surgical
68 dressings or bandages, or supportive body bands or other
69 restraints necessary for ongoing medical treatment in the
70 educational setting;
71 3. Devices used to support functional body position or
72 proper balance, or to prevent a person from falling out of a bed
73 or a wheelchair, except when such device is used for any purpose
74 other than supporting a body position or proper balance, such as
75 coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation, to prevent
76 imminent risk of serious injury or death of the student or
77 others, or for any other behavior-management reason; or
78 4. Equipment used for safety during transportation, such as
79 seatbelts or wheelchair tie-downs.
80 (e) “Medical protective equipment” means health-related
81 protective devices prescribed by a physician or dentist for use
82 as student protection in response to an existing medical
84 (f) “Seclusion” means removing a student from an
85 educational environment, involuntarily confining the student in
86 a room or area, and preventing the student from leaving the room
87 or area if achieved by locking the door or otherwise physically
88 blocking the student’s way, threatening physical force or other
89 consequences, or using physical force. The term does not include
90 the use of time-out.
91 (g) “Student” means a student with a disability.
92 (h) “Time-out” means a procedure in which access to varied
93 sources of reinforcement is removed or reduced for a particular
94 time period contingent on a response. The opportunity to receive
95 reinforcement is contingently removed for a specified time.
96 Either a student is contingently removed from the reinforcing
97 environment or the reinforcing environment is contingently
98 removed for some stipulated duration. A time-out setting may not
99 be locked and the exit may not be blocked. Physical force or
100 threats may not be used to place a student in time-out.
101 (2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—
102 (a) The Legislature finds that public schools have a
103 responsibility to ensure that each student is treated with
104 respect and dignity in a trauma-informed environment that
105 provides for the physical safety and security of students and
107 (b) The Legislature finds that students, educators, and
108 families are concerned about the use of seclusion and restraint,
109 particularly when used on students in special education
110 programs. Seclusion and restraint refer to safety procedures in
111 which a student is isolated from others or physically held in
112 response to serious problem behavior that places the student or
113 others at risk of injury or harm. There is concern that these
114 procedures are prone to misapplication and abuse and place a
115 student at an equal or greater risk than the risk of the
116 student’s problem behavior. Particular concerns include:
117 1. Seclusion or restraint is inappropriately selected and
118 implemented as treatment or behavioral intervention rather than
119 as a safety procedure;
120 2. Seclusion or restraint is inappropriately used for
121 behaviors, such as noncompliance, threats, or disruption, which
122 do not place the student or others at risk of injury or harm;
123 3. Students, peers, or staff may be injured or physically
124 harmed during attempts to conduct seclusion or restraint;
125 4. Risk of injury or harm is increased because seclusion or
126 restraint is implemented by staff who are not adequately
128 5. The use of seclusion or restraint may inadvertently
129 result in reinforcing or strengthening the problem behavior; and
130 6. Seclusion or restraint is implemented independent of
131 comprehensive, function-based behavioral intervention plans.
133 Moreover, there are concerns about the inadequate documentation
134 of seclusion or restraint procedures, the failure to notify
135 parents when seclusion or restraint is applied, and the failure
136 to use data to analyze and address the cause of the
137 precipitating behavior.
138 (c) The Legislature finds that the majority of problem
139 behaviors that are currently used to justify seclusion or
140 restraint could be prevented with early identification and
141 intensive early intervention. The need for seclusion or
142 restraint is, in part, a result of insufficient investment in
143 prevention efforts. The Legislature further finds that the use
144 of seclusion or restraint may produce trauma in students. For
145 such students, who are already experiencing trauma, the use may
146 cause retraumatization. Left unaddressed, the lasting effects of
147 childhood trauma place a heavy burden on individuals, families,
148 and communities. Research has shown that trauma significantly
149 increases the risk of mental health problems, difficulties with
150 social relationships and behavior, physical illness, and poor
151 school performance.
152 (d) The Legislature intends that students be free from the
153 abusive and unnecessary use of seclusion or restraint in the
154 public schools. The Legislature further intends to prevent, and
155 achieve an ongoing reduction of, the use of manual physical
156 restraint in the public schools and, specifically, to prohibit
157 the use of seclusion, prone and supine restraint, and mechanical
158 restraint on students. The Legislature also intends that manual
159 physical restraint be used only when an imminent risk of serious
160 injury or death exists; that manual physical restraint not be
161 employed as punishment, for the convenience of staff, or as a
162 substitute for a positive behavior-support plan; and that, when
163 used, persons applying manual physical restraint impose the
164 least possible restrictions and discontinue the restraint as
165 soon as the threat of imminent risk of serious injury or death
167 (3) MANUAL PHYSICAL RESTRAINT.—Manual physical restraint
168 shall be used only in an emergency when there is an imminent
169 risk of serious injury or death to the student or others.
170 (a) Manual physical restraint shall be used only for the
171 period needed in order to eliminate the imminent risk of serious
172 injury or death to the student or others.
173 (b) The degree of force applied during manual physical
174 restraint must be only that degree of force necessary to protect
175 the student or others from bodily injury.
176 (c) Manual physical restraint shall be used only by school
177 personnel who are qualified and certified to use the district
178 approved methods for the appropriate application of specific
179 restraint techniques. School personnel who have received
180 training that is not associated with their employment with the
181 school district, such as a former law enforcement officer who is
182 now a teacher, shall be certified in the specific district
183 approved techniques and may not apply techniques or procedures
184 acquired elsewhere.
185 (d) School personnel may not manually physically restrain a
186 student except when an imminent risk of serious injury or death
187 to the student or others exists.
188 (e) School personnel may not use any of the following
189 manual physical restraint techniques on a student:
190 1. Prone and supine restraint.
191 2. Pain inducement to obtain compliance.
192 3. Bone locks.
193 4. Hyperextension of joints.
194 5. Peer restraint.
195 6. Mechanical restraint.
196 7. Pressure or weight on the chest, lungs, sternum,
197 diaphragm, back, or abdomen, causing chest compression.
198 8. Straddling or sitting on any part of the body or any
199 maneuver that places pressure, weight, or leverage on the neck
200 or throat, on any artery, or on the back of the student’s head
201 or neck or that otherwise obstructs or restricts the circulation
202 of blood or obstructs an airway.
203 9. Any type of choking, including hand chokes, and any type
204 of neck or head hold.
205 10. Any technique that involves pushing anything on or into
206 the student’s mouth, nose, eyes, or any part of the face or that
207 involves covering the face or body with anything, including soft
208 objects such as pillows or washcloths.
209 11. Any maneuver that involves punching, hitting, poking,
210 pinching, or shoving.
211 12. Any type of mat or blanket restraint.
212 13. Water or lemon sprays.
213 (f) The school shall ensure that a student is medically
214 evaluated by a physician, nurse, or other qualified medical
215 professional as soon as possible after the student has been
216 manually physically restrained by school personnel.
217 (4) SECLUSION; TIME-OUT.—
218 (a) School personnel may not place a student in seclusion.
219 (b) School personnel may place a student in time-out if the
220 following conditions are met:
221 1. The time-out is part of a positive behavioral
222 intervention plan developed for that student from a functional
223 behavioral assessment and referenced in the student’s individual
224 education plan.
225 2. There is documentation that the time-out was preceded by
226 the use of other positive behavioral supports that were not
228 3. The time-out takes place in a classroom or in another
229 environment where class educational activities are taking place.
230 4. The student is not physically prevented from leaving the
231 time-out area.
232 5. The student is observed on a constant basis by an adult
233 for the duration of the time-out.
234 6. The time-out area and process are free of any action
235 that is likely to embarrass or humiliate the student.
236 (c) Time-out may not be used for a period that exceeds 1
237 minute for each year of a student’s age and time-out must end
238 immediately when the student is calm enough to return to his or
239 her seat.
240 (d) Time-out may not be used as a punishment or negative
241 consequence of a student’s behavior.
242 (5) TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION.—
243 (a) Each school district shall report its training and
244 certification procedures to the department by publishing the
245 procedures in the district’s special policies and procedures
247 (b) Training for initial certification in the use of manual
248 physical restraint must include:
249 1. Procedures for deescalating problem behaviors before the
250 problems increase to a level or intensity necessitating physical
252 2. Information regarding the risks associated with manual
253 physical restraint and procedures for assessing individual
254 situations and students in order to determine if the use of
255 manual physical restraint is appropriate and sufficiently safe.
256 3. The actual use of specific techniques that range from
257 the least to most restrictive, with ample opportunity for
258 trainees to demonstrate proficiency in the use of such
260 4. Techniques for implementing manual physical restraint
261 with multiple staff members working as a team.
262 5. Techniques for assisting a student to reenter the
263 instructional environment and again engage in learning.
264 6. Instruction in the district’s documentation and
265 reporting requirements.
266 7. Procedures to identify and deal with possible medical
267 emergencies arising during the use of manual physical restraint.
268 8. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
269 (c) School districts shall provide refresher certification
270 training courses in manual physical restraint techniques at
271 least annually to all staff members who have successfully
272 completed the initial certification program. The district must
273 identify those persons to be certified and maintain a record
274 that includes the name and position of the person certified, the
275 date of the most recent certification, an indication of whether
276 it was an initial certification or a refresher certification,
277 and whether the individual successfully completed the
278 certification and achieved proficiency.
279 (d) School district policies regarding the use of manual
280 physical restraint must address whether it is appropriate for an
281 employee working in specific settings, such as a school bus
282 driver, school bus aide, job coach, employment specialist, or
283 cafeteria worker, to be certified in manual physical restraint
284 techniques. In the case of school resource officers or others
285 who may be employed by other agencies when working in a school,
286 administrators shall review each agency’s specific policies to
287 be aware of techniques that may be used.
288 (6) STUDENT-CENTERED FOLLOWUP.—If a student is manually
289 physically restrained more than twice during a school year, the
290 school shall review the student’s functional behavioral
291 assessment and positive behavioral intervention plan.
292 (7) (1) DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTING.—
293 (a) At the beginning of each school year, a school district
294 shall provide a copy of its policies on all emergency
295 procedures, including its policies on the use of manual physical
296 restraint, to each student’s parent or guardian. The student’s
297 parent or guardian must sign a form indicating that he or she
298 has read and received the district’s policies, which the
299 student’s school shall retain on file.
300 (b) (a) A school shall prepare an incident report within 24
301 hours after a student is released from a restraint or seclusion.
302 If the student’s release occurs on a day before the school
303 closes for the weekend, a holiday, or another reason, the
304 incident report must be completed by the end of the school day
305 on the day the school reopens.
306 (c) (b) The following must be included in the incident
308 1. The name of the student restrained or secluded.
309 2. The age, grade, ethnicity, and disability of the student
310 restrained or secluded.
311 3. The date and time of the event and the duration of the
312 restraint or seclusion.
313 4. The location at which the restraint or seclusion
315 5. A description of the type of restraint used in terms
316 established by the Department of Education.
317 6. The name of the person using or assisting in the
318 restraint or seclusion of the student.
319 7. The name of any nonstudent who was present to witness
320 the restraint or seclusion.
321 8. A description of the incident, including:
322 a. The context in which the restraint or seclusion
324 b. The student’s behavior leading up to and precipitating
325 the decision to use manual or physical restraint or seclusion,
326 including an indication as to why there was an imminent risk of
327 serious injury or death to the student or others.
328 c. The specific positive behavioral strategies used to
329 prevent and deescalate the behavior.
330 d. What occurred with the student immediately after the
331 termination of the restraint or seclusion.
332 e. Any injuries, visible marks, or possible medical
333 emergencies that may have occurred during the restraint or
334 seclusion, documented according to district policies.
335 f. The results of the medical evaluation and a copy of any
336 report by the medical professionals conducting the evaluation,
337 if available. If the medical report is not available within 24
338 hours, the district must submit the medical report separately as
339 soon as it is available.
340 g. f. Evidence of steps taken to notify the student’s parent
341 or guardian.
342 (d) (c) A school shall notify the parent or guardian of a
343 student each time manual or physical restraint or seclusion is
344 used. Such notification must be in writing and provided before
345 the end of the school day on which the restraint or seclusion
346 occurs. Reasonable efforts must also be taken to notify the
347 parent or guardian by telephone or computer e-mail, or both, and
348 these efforts must be documented. The school shall obtain, and
349 keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed
350 acknowledgment that he or she was notified of his or her child’s
351 restraint or seclusion.
352 (e) (d) A school shall also provide the parent or guardian
353 with the completed incident report in writing by mail within 3
354 school days after a student was manually or physically
355 restrained or secluded. The school shall obtain, and keep in its
356 records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed acknowledgment that
357 he or she received a copy of the incident report.
358 (8) (2) MONITORING.—
359 (a) Monitoring of The use of manual or physical restraint
360 or seclusion on students shall be monitored occur at the
361 classroom, building, district, and state levels.
362 (b) Any documentation prepared by a school pursuant to as
363 required in subsection (7) (1) shall be provided to the school
364 principal, the district director of Exceptional Student
365 Education, and the bureau chief of the Bureau of Exceptional
366 Education and Student Services electronically each week month
367 that the school is in session.
368 (c) Each week that a school is in session, the school shall
369 send a redacted copy of any incident report and other
370 documentation prepared pursuant to subsection (7) to the
371 Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.
372 (d) (c) The department shall maintain aggregate data of
373 incidents of manual or physical restraint and seclusion and
374 disaggregate the data for analysis by county, school, student
375 exceptionality, and other variables, including the type and
376 method of restraint or seclusion used. This information shall be
377 updated monthly and made available to the public through the
378 department’s website no later than January 31, 2013.
379 (e) (d) The department shall establish standards for
380 documenting, reporting, and monitoring the use of manual or
381 physical restraint or mechanical restraint, and occurrences of
382 seclusion. These standards shall be provided to school districts
383 by October 1, 2011.
384 (9) (3) SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.—
385 (a) Each school district shall develop policies and
386 procedures that are consistent with this section and that govern
387 the following:
388 1. Allowable use of manual physical restraint on students.
389 2. Personnel authorized to use manual physical restraint.
390 3. Training procedures.
391 4. 1. Incident-reporting procedures.
392 5. 2. Data collection and monitoring, including when, where,
393 and why students are restrained or secluded; the frequency of
394 occurrences of such restraint or seclusion; and the prone or
395 mechanical restraint that is most used.
396 6. 3. Monitoring and reporting of data collected.
397 7. 4. Training programs relating to manual or physical
398 restraint and seclusion.
399 8. 5. The district’s plan for selecting personnel to be
401 9. 6. The district’s plan for reducing the use of restraint
402 and seclusion particularly in settings in which it occurs
403 frequently or with students who are restrained repeatedly, and
404 for reducing the use of prone restraint and mechanical
405 restraint. The plan must include a goal for reducing the use of
406 restraint and seclusion and must include activities, skills, and
407 resources needed to achieve that goal. Activities may include,
408 but are not limited to:
409 a. Additional training in positive behavioral support and
410 crisis management;
411 b. Parental involvement;
412 c. Data review;
413 d. Updates of students’ functional behavioral analysis and
414 positive behavior intervention plans;
415 e. Additional student evaluations;
416 f. Debriefing with staff;
417 g. Use of schoolwide positive behavior support; and
418 h. Changes to the school environment.
419 10. Analysis of data to determine trends.
420 11. Ongoing reduction of the use of manual physical
422 (b) Any revisions that a school district makes to its to
423 the district’s policies and procedures, which are must be
424 prepared as part of the school district’s its special policies
425 and procedures, must be filed with the bureau chief of the
426 Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services no later
427 than January 31, 2012.
428 (4) PROHIBITED RESTRAINT.—School personnel may not use a
429 mechanical restraint or a manual or physical restraint that
430 restricts a student’s breathing.
431 (5) SECLUSION.—School personnel may not close, lock, or
432 physically block a student in a room that is unlit and does not
433 meet the rules of the State Fire Marshal for seclusion time-out
435 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.