When students refuse to behave or follow instructions, frustrated teachers may isolate or even physically restrain to keep them from lashing out, even though these are considered last-resort tactics. A heated student-staff confrontation may result in actions that inadvertently harm the student, and lead to further escalation of a student’s aggressiveness. Besides the damage to a child’s mental health, it also opens the district to a vulnerability in lawsuits.
According to a recent report from ProPublica, students in grades K-12 were physically restrained or secluded at least 267,000 times in 2012. Even worse, 20 students have reportedly died while being restrained or isolated since 1992.
These actions clearly leave the districts open for litigation. For example, a California district was ordered to pay families $8 million as settlement for the improper restraint and seclusion of eight special needs children.
As part of the EmployeeSafe suite library of more than 400 courses, we have released a newly-updated online Restraint and Seclusion training that includes de-escalation techniques and focuses on the use of “time outs” as a tool in stopping student aggression. It is critical for every educator to be trained on proper use of restraint, seclusion and time-out techniques, as well as when each technique is appropriate to use. This course is available in both Spanish and English.
The course addresses:
- The definitions, purpose and techniques for restraint, seclusion and time-outs
- The seven-phase acting out cycle, including phase-specific tips for intervention to decrease the likelihood that the conflict will escalate to the peak stage
- The use of preventative tactics such as functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), behavioral intervention plans (BIPs), and positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) to proactively address behavior issues before they become problematic
- How improper use of restraint and seclusion has endangered students and led to legal issues for the educator and the district
Restraint and seclusion techniques should be the last resort for an educator in dealing with students, but when forced to do so, the expectation is to do so effectively and to not cause harm. Contact us to learn how you can make sure your educators are properly trained to handle students when they act out