Seattle Public Schools

3246 Restraint, Isolation and Other Uses of Physical Crisis Intervention

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that all students in the district, including those who have an individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, shall remain free from unnecessary or unreasonable restraint, restraint devices, isolation and other uses of physical crisis intervention. 

The terms addressed in the policy, including but not limited to “restraint,” “isolation,” “imminent,” and “serious bodily harm,” are defined in the accompanying Superintendent Procedure 3246SP.  

The use of isolation is prohibited under all circumstances.   

The use of restraints on students is prohibited except in situations when there is an imminent likelihood of serious bodily harm to a person.  In such situations, restraint may be used only as a last resort and only to the extent necessary to prevent or minimize imminent bodily harm to the student or to others.  The use of restraint or other physical crisis intervention must be immediately discontinued once there is no longer an imminent likelihood of serious bodily harm.  Under no circumstances will these techniques be used as a form of discipline, punishment, for adult convenience, or as a response to property destruction or a disruption of a student that poses no risk of bodily harm. 

To support student behavior and to mitigate for racial, disability, and other  biases, positive, trauma-informed, evidence-based de-escalation techniques must be used to the greatest extent possible before any form of restraint or other physical crisis intervention may be used. 

A staff member not engaged in the restraint will closely monitor the use of restraint or other physical crisis intervention to prevent harm to, and abuse of, the student. 

Following an incident in which staff have used restraint or other physical crisis intervention as a response to student behavior, the student’s parent or guardian shall be notified.  Information and data collected regarding the incident will be used as part of a postvention debriefing process in which staff, with the involvement of parents, guardians and students, will review and analyze the incident to help develop supports and strategies to reduce the future use of such practices.  Data shall be collected on the incident in alignment with the accompanying procedure and the reporting requirements of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

This policy is intended to protect students enrolled in the district, and is not intended to prevent or limit the use of restraint or other physical crisis intervention as necessary with adults or other youth from outside the school who are on school grounds, on school-provided transportation, or at a school sponsored function as allowed by law. 

The Superintendent will report annually to the Board on the use of restraint and other uses of physical crisis intervention, including changes in practice to reduce their use.  The Superintendent or their designee is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy.