Carlisle Public School

83 School Street, Carlisle, MA 01741

  • Education Laws and Regulations

    603 CMR 46.00:
    Physical Restraint

    Section:
    46.01: Authority, Scope, Purpose and Construction
    46.02: Definitions
    46.03: Procedures and Training
    46.04: Determining When Physical Restraint May Be Used
    46.05: Proper Administration of Physical Restraint
    46.06: Reporting Requirements
    46.07: Special Circumstances
    View All Sections
    In effect April 2, 2001

     

    46.01: Authority, Scope, Purpose and Construction

    (1) Authority. 603 CMR 46.00 is promulgated by the Board of Education pursuant to M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B, and c. 71, § 37G.

    (2) Scope. 603 CMR 46.00 governs the use of physical restraint on students in publicly funded elementary and secondary education programs, including all Massachusetts public school districts, charter schools, collaborative education programs and special education schools approved under 603 CMR 28.09, except as provided in 603 CMR 18.05(5)(h). Educational programs in facilities operated by the Department of Youth Services shall comply with the restraint requirements of 102 CMR 3.00.

    (3) Purpose. The purpose of 603 CMR 46.00 is to ensure that every student participating in a Massachusetts public education program is free from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. Physical restraint shall be used only in emergency situations, after other less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate, and with extreme caution. School personnel shall use physical restraint with two goals in mind:

    (a) To administer a physical restraint only when needed to protect a student and/or a member of the school community from imminent, serious, physical harm; and

    (b) To prevent or minimize any harm to the student as a result of the use of physical restraint.

    (4) Construction. Nothing in 603 CMR 46.00 shall be construed to limit the protection afforded publicly funded students under other state or federal laws, including those laws that provide for the rights of students who have been found eligible to receive special education services. Nothing in 603 CMR 46.00 precludes any teacher, employee or agent of a public education program from using reasonable force to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

    46.02: Definitions

    As used in 603 CMR 46.00, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

    (1) Extended restraint: A physical restraint the duration of which is more than twenty (20) minutes. Extended restraints increase the risk of injury and, therefore, require additional written documentation as described in 603 CMR 46.06.

    (2) Physical escort: Touching or holding a student without the use of force for the purpose of directing the student.

    (3) Physical restraint: The use of bodily force to limit a student's freedom of movement.

    (4) Public education programs: Public schools, including charter schools, collaborative education programs, special education schools approved under 603 CMR 28.09, except as provided in 603 CMR 18.05(5)(h), and school events and activities sponsored by such programs.

    (5) Restraint - Other: Limiting the physical freedom of an individual student by mechanical means or seclusion in a limited space or location, or temporarily controlling the behavior of a student by chemical means. The use of chemical or mechanical restraint is prohibited unless explicitly authorized by a physician and approved in writing by the parent or guardian. The use of seclusion restraint is prohibited in public education programs.

    (a) Mechanical Restraint: The use of a physical device to restrict the movement of a student or the movement or normal function of a portion of his or her body. A protective or stabilizing device ordered by a physician shall not be considered mechanical restraint.

    (b) Seclusion Restraint: Physically confining a student alone in a room or limited space without access to school staff. The use of "time out" procedures during which a staff member remains accessible to the student shall not be considered "seclusion restraint."

    (c) Chemical restraint: The administration of medication for the purpose of restraint.

    (6) School Working Day: Any day or partial day that students are in attendance at the public education program for instructional purposes.

    46.03: Procedures and Training

    (1) Procedures. Public education programs shall develop written procedures regarding appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention. Such procedures shall be annually reviewed and provided to school staff and made available to parents of enrolled students. Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to:

    (a) Methods for preventing student violence, self-injurious behavior, and suicide, including de-escalation of potentially dangerous behavior occurring among groups of students or with an individual student;

    (b) A school policy regarding restraint that provides a description and explanation of the school's or program's method of physical restraint, a description of the school's or program's training requirements, reporting requirements and follow-up procedures, and a procedure for receiving and investigating complaints regarding restraint practices.

    (2) Required training for all staff. Each principal or director shall determine a time and method to provide all program staff with training regarding the school's restraint policy. Such training shall occur within the first month of each school year and, for employees hired after the school year begins, within a month of their employment. Training shall include information on the following:

    (a) The program's restraint policy;

    (b) Interventions that may preclude the need for restraint, including de-escalation of problematic behaviors;

    (c) Types of restraints and related safety considerations, including information regarding the increased risk of injury to a student when an extended restraint is used;

    (d) Administering physical restraint in accordance with known medical or psychological limitations and/or behavioral intervention plans applicable to an individual student; and

    (e) Identification of program staff who have received in-depth training pursuant to 603 CMR 46.03(3) in the use of physical restraint.

    (3) In-depth staff training in the use of physical restraint. At the beginning of each school year, the principal or director of each public education program or his or her designee shall identify program staff that are authorized to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. Such staff shall participate in in-depth training in the use of physical restraint. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends that such training be at least sixteen (16) hours in length.

    (4) Content of in-depth training. In-depth training in the proper administration of physical restraint shall include, but not be limited to:

    (a) Appropriate procedures for preventing the need for physical restraint, including the de-escalation of problematic behavior, relationship building and the use of alternatives to restraint;

    (b) A description and identification of dangerous behaviors on the part of students that may indicate the need for physical restraint and methods for evaluating the risk of harm in individual situations in order to determine whether the use of restraint is warranted;

    (c) The simulated experience of administering and receiving physical restraint, instruction regarding the effect(s) on the person restrained, including instruction on monitoring physical signs of distress and obtaining medical assistance;

    (d) Instruction regarding documentation and reporting requirements and investigation of injuries and complaints; and

    (e) Demonstration by participants of proficiency in administering physical restraint.

    46.04: Determining When Physical Restraint May Be Used

    (1) Use of restraint. Physical restraint may be used only in the following circumstances:

    (a) Non-physical interventions would not be effective; and

    (b) The student's behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm to self and/or others.

    (2) Limitations on use of restraint. Physical restraint in a public education program shall be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to protect a student or another member of the school community from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

    (3) Prohibitions. Physical restraint is prohibited in the following circumstances:

    (a) As a means of punishment; or

    (b) As a response to property destruction, disruption of school order, a student's refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm.

    (4) Referral to law enforcement or other state agencies. Nothing in these regulations prohibits:

    (a) The right of any individual to report to appropriate authorities a crime committed by a student or other individual;

    (b) Law enforcement, judicial authorities or school security personnel from exercising their responsibilities, including the physical detainment of a student or other person alleged to have committed a crime or posing a security risk; or

    (c) The exercise of an individual's responsibilities as a mandated reporter pursuant to MGL c. 119, § 51A. These regulations shall not be used to deter any individual from reporting neglect or abuse to the appropriate state agency.

    46.05: Proper Administration of Physical Restraint

    (1) Trained personnel. Only school personnel who have received training pursuant to 603 CMR 46.03(2) or 603 CMR 46.03(3) shall administer physical restraint on students. Whenever possible, the administration of a restraint shall be witnessed by at least one adult who does not participate in the restraint. The training requirements contained in 603 CMR 46.00 shall not preclude a teacher, employee or agent of a public education program from using reasonable force to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

    (2) Use of force. A person administering a physical restraint shall use only the amount of force necessary to protect the student or others from physical injury or harm.

    (3) Safest method. A person administering physical restraint shall use the safest method available and appropriate to the situation subject to the safety requirements set forth in 603 CMR 46.05(5). Floor or prone restraints shall be prohibited unless the staff member administering the restraint has received in-depth training according to the requirements of 603 CMR 46.03(3) and, in the judgment of the trained staff member, such method is required to provide safety for the student or others present.

    (4) Duration of restraint. A person administering physical restraint shall discontinue such restraint as soon as possible. If, due to unusual circumstances, a restraint continues for more than twenty (20) minutes, it shall be considered an "extended restraint" for purposes of the reporting requirements in 603 CMR 46.06.

    (5) Safety requirements. Additional requirements for the use of physical restraint:

    (a) No restraint shall be administered in such a way that the student is prevented from breathing or speaking. During the administration of a restraint, a staff member shall continuously monitor the physical status of the student, including skin color and respiration. A restraint shall be released immediately upon a determination by the staff member administering the restraint that the student is no longer at risk of causing imminent physical harm to him or herself or others.

    (b) Restraint shall be administered in such a way so as to prevent or minimize physical harm. If, at any time during a physical restraint, the student demonstrates significant physical distress, the student shall be released from the restraint immediately, and school staff shall take steps to seek medical assistance.

    (c) Program staff shall review and consider any known medical or psychological limitations and/or behavioral intervention plans regarding the use of physical restraint on an individual student.

    (d) Following the release of a student from a restraint, the program shall implement follow-up procedures. These procedures shall include reviewing the incident with the student to address the behavior that precipitated the restraint, reviewing the incident with the staff person(s) who administered the restraint to discuss whether proper restraint procedures were followed, and consideration of whether any follow-up is appropriate for students who witnessed the incident.

    46.06: Reporting Requirements

    (1) Circumstances under which a physical restraint must be reported. Program staff shall report the use of physical restraint as specified in 603 CMR 46.06(2) after administration of a physical restraint that results in any injury to a student or staff member, or any physical restraint of a duration longer than five minutes

    (2) Informing school administration. The program staff member who administered the restraint shall verbally inform the program administration of the restraint as soon as possible, and by written report no later than the next school working day. The written report shall be provided to the principal or director of the program or his/her designee, except that the principal or director shall prepare the report if the principal or director has administered the restraint. The principal or director or his/her designee shall maintain an on-going record of all reported instances of physical restraint, which shall be made available for review by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon request.

    (3) Informing parents. The principal or director of the program or his/her designee shall verbally inform the student's parents or guardians of the restraint as soon as possible, and by written report postmarked no later than three school working days following the use of restraint. If the school or program customarily provides a parent or guardian of a student with report cards and other necessary school-related information in a language other than English, the written restraint report shall be provided to the parent or guardian in that language.

    (4) Contents of report. The written report required by 603 CMR 46.06(2) and (3) shall include:

    (a) The names and job titles of the staff who administered the restraint, and observers, if any; the date of the restraint; the time the restraint began and ended; and the name of the administrator who was verbally informed following the restraint.

    (b) A description of the activity in which the restrained student and other students and staff in the same room or vicinity were engaged immediately preceding the use of physical restraint; the behavior that prompted the restraint; the efforts made to de-escalate the situation; alternatives to restraint that were attempted; and the justification for initiating physical restraint.

    (c) A description of the administration of the restraint including the holds used and reasons such holds were necessary; the student's behavior and reactions during the restraint; how the restraint ended; and documentation of injury to the student and/or staff, if any, during the restraint and any medical care provided.

    (d) For extended restraints, the written report shall describe the alternatives to extended restraint that were attempted, the outcome of those efforts and the justification for administering the extended restraint.

    (e) Information regarding any further action(s) that the school has taken or may take, including any disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on the student.

    (f) Information regarding opportunities for the student's parents or guardians to discuss with school officials the administration of the restraint, any disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on the student and/or any other related matter.

    (5) Report to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. When a restraint has resulted in a serious injury to a student or program staff member or when an extended restraint has been administered, the program shall provide a copy of the written report required by 603 CMR 46.06(4) to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education within five school working days of the administration of the restraint. The program shall also provide the Department with a copy of the record of physical restraints maintained by the program administrator pursuant to 603 CMR 46.06(2) for the thirty day period prior to the date of the reported restraint. The Department shall determine if additional action on the part of the public education program is warranted and, if so, shall notify the public education program of any required actions within thirty calendar days of receipt of the required written report(s).

    46.07: Special Circumstances

    (1) Special Circumstances - Students with Disabilities. Restraint administered to a student with a disability pursuant to an Individualized Education Plan ("IEP") or other written plan developed in accordance with state and federal law to which the public education program and the student's parent or guardian have agreed shall be deemed to meet the requirements of 603 CMR 46.00, except that the limitations on chemical, mechanical, and seclusion restraint set forth in 603 CMR 46.02(5), the training requirements set forth in 603 CMR 46.03, and the reporting requirements set forth in 603 CMR 46.06 shall apply.

    (2) Special Circumstances - Individual Waiver of Reporting Requirements. Public education programs may seek a parent's or guardian's consent to waive the reporting requirements of 603 CMR 46.06 for restraints administered to an individual student that do not result in serious injury to the student or a program staff member and do not constitute extended restraint. Extended restraints and restraints that result in serious injury to a student or program staff member must be reported in accordance with the requirements of 603 CMR 46.06, regardless of any individual waiver to which the parent or guardian may have consented. Individual waivers should be sought only for students who present a high risk of frequent, dangerous behavior that may require the frequent use of restraint.

    (3) Limitations on individual waivers.

    (a) A public education program may not require a parent's consent to such a waiver as a condition of admission or provision of services.

    (b) A parent may withdraw consent to such waiver at any time without penalty.

    (4) Individual Waiver - documentation required. The program shall maintain the following documentation on site in the student's file and shall make such documentation available for inspection by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at its request at any time:

    (a) The informed written consent of the parent or guardian to the waiver, which shall specify those reporting requirements(s) in 603 CMR 46.06(1)-(4) that the parent or guardian agrees to waive; and

    (b) Specific information regarding when and how the parent or guardian will be informed regarding the administration of all restraints to the individual student.

    (5) Prohibition on Program or Classroom Waivers: Nothing herein shall be construed to allow a program or classroom to receive an exemption or waiver from any of the requirements of 603 CMR 46.00 on behalf of all of the students enrolled in a particular program or classroom.

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