Overview of Laws governing Restraint and Seclusion
Handle With Care has been providing training for school staff on how to manage student populations from pre-k12 since 1985. There is generally a divide in schools between special education and general education with respect to behavior management and crisis intervention. The use of restraint in both general and special education are governed by 4 main bodies of law: Self Defense Laws: Federal, Constitutional and State laws protecting the right to defend self and others.  Ingram v. Wright (SCOTUS). The State does not have the right to limit a person’s right to defend themselves or another in any manner that is reasonable.  Bowers v. DeVit. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the right to self-defense does not terminate when a teacher or student enters the schoolhouse gates. See also, Tinker v. Des Moines Ind. Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 506 (1969) Tort/Common Law: Courts have held that schools act in the place of parents (in loco parentis).  As such, schools have a duty to maintain a safe environment conducive to education.  Along with this doctrine comes a duty to train staff to handle foreseeable circumstances. It is foreseeable that children will lose their tempers and may engage in inappropriate behavior like fighting and throwing objects.  There is a duty to train staff how to manage these foreseeable situations in a way that maintains a safe environment conducive to education. Treatment and Behavioral Plans (IEPs/BPs).  This is the duty to provide professional judgment in developing educational and treatment plans.  The Supreme Court has held that the professional duty rests exclusively with the professionals working directly with the [students]. Youngberg v. Romeo. 457 U.S. 307 (1982). In addition to the above, special education students have the additional Federal laws that must be complied with: Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Act Section 504 (504). The laws specific to special needs students protect their right not to be discriminated against because of their disability, and the right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) which includes IEPs.
Student’s family wins settlement in suit against California school for failing to protect
Parents sued Mt. Diablo Unified School District in the District Court for the Northern District of California for failing to protect their 14-year old son who was a special education student with emotional and behavioral disabilities enrolled at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The facts alleged were that since January 27, 2009, Colbey has been eligible for special education services in the District under the category of "Emotional Disturbance".  Colbey received an Individualized Education Program ("IEP") that required a small specialized setting with frequent individual support where Colbey would be protected from bullying and harassment by other students. Despite his diagnoses and the recommendations of the IEP team, the District failed to protect Colbey from harassment and assault by peers on the school bus and in his segregated classrooms. School staff allegedly allowed Colbey to be harassed by other students in his program, and in one instance placed him in a "time-out room" with another student who physically attacked and injured Colbey, causing a broken collarbone and fear of returning to school. The District Court held that it had jurisdiction over the case and the settlement offer, and that Colbey was entitled to damages for the school’s failure to protect him from physical assault by another student.
We want you - HWC Content Cooperative
WE WANT YOU - HWC CONTENT COOPERATIVE Want to have your services featured or articles published on Handle With Care? Here's How - We are launching a content cooperative that allows YOU to share your expertise, gain tons of exposure and get paid. BECOMING A PART OF THE WRITERS COOPERATIVE If you have content you want published and shared in the Education, Social Services, and Healthcare community - contact us. If your content is published on our blog we will pay you $50. When we accept new content we reserve the right to edit, proof, produce or add graphics or images.  HWC reserves unlimited non-exclusive licensing to the content provided or will reserve copyright under a work for hire agreement.   Currently we are especially looking for instructional articles and video in ABA, CBT, and PBIS. We are also asking our clients for: Statistics and impact of HWC's program at your facility including restraint and injury statistics. Impact of restraint laws on the number of restraints, injuries and use of law enforcement at your facility or school. Testimonials We also want to be responsive to our clients needs.  For instance, in light of the wave of state legislation, we have embarked on a Q & A Webinar series on the law and the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. We are also going to provide video showing how people who serve others in human services and education stay strong, recharge, stay engaged and care for themselves. If there is content you would to see on our site, please contact us with your suggestions.