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S.2860 - Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act
A bill to protect students from inappropriate seclusion and physical restraint, and for other purposes.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(1) Seclusion and physical restraint have resulted in physical injury, psychological trauma, and death to children in public and private schools. National research shows children have been subjected to inappropriate seclusion and physical restraint in schools as a means of discipline, to force compliance, or as a substitute for appropriate educational support.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) Despite the widely recognized risks of seclusion and physical restraint, a substantial disparity exists between States and localities with regard to the protection and oversight of the rights of children to a safe learning environment.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Children are protected from inappropriate physical restraint and seclusion in other settings, such as hospitals, health facilities, and non-medical community-based facilities. Similar protections are needed in schools, yet such protections must acknowledge the differences of the school environment.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Children are subjected to seclusion and physical restraint at higher rates than adults, and are at greater risk of injury. Physical restraint that restricts air flow to the lungs, as well as seclusion in the absence of continuous face-to-face monitoring, have resulted in the deaths of children in schools.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Behavioral interventions for children must promote the right of all children to be treated with dignity. All children have the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, aversive behavioral interventions that compromise health and safety, and any physical restraint or seclusion imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) Safe, effective, evidence-based strategies are available to support children who display challenging behaviors in school settings. Staff training focused on the dangers of seclusion and physical restraint, as well as training in evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports, de-escalation techniques, and seclusion and physical restraint prevention, can reduce injury, trauma, and death.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) The effective implementation of school-wide positive behavior supports is linked to greater academic achievement, significantly fewer disciplinary problems, increased instruction time, and staff perception of a safer teaching environment.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(10) Perspectives of relevant community and advocacy organizations, including those run by individuals with disabilities, are important when developing and implementing strategies, policies, and procedures to prevent or reduce seclusion and physical restraint in schools.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. PURPOSES.
(4) ensure that seclusion and physical restraint are imposed in school only when a student’s behavior poses an imminent danger of physical injury to the student, school personnel, or others; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.
(1) ESEA DEFINITIONS- The terms ‘educational service agency’, ‘elementary school’, ‘local educational agency’, ‘parent’, ‘secondary school’, and ‘State’ have the meanings given such terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (
(2) PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT DEFINITIONS- The terms ‘mechanical restraint’, ‘physical escort’, ‘physical restraint’, ‘seclusion’, and ‘time out’ have the meanings given such terms in section 595(d) of the Public Health Service Act (
(5) POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS- The term ‘positive behavior supports’ means a systematic approach to embed evidence-based practices and data-driven decisionmaking to improve school climate and culture, including a range of systemic and individualized strategies to reinforce desired behaviors and diminish reoccurrence of problem behaviors, in order to achieve improved academic and social outcomes and increase learning for all students, including those with the most complex and intensive behavioral needs.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SYSTEM- The term ‘protection and advocacy system’ means a protection and advocacy system established under section 143 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (
(ii) an early childhood, elementary school, or secondary school program that is under the jurisdiction of a school, educational service agency, or other educational institution or program; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) receives, or serves students who receive, support in any form from any program supported in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, with funds appropriated to the Department of Education.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) SCHOOL PERSONNEL- The term ‘school personnel’ means school personnel and school resource officers, as such terms are defined in section 4151 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (
(D) certification for school personnel in the techniques and skills described in subparagraphs (A) through (C), which shall be required to be renewed on a periodic basis.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(11) STATE EDUCATIONAL AGENCY- The term ‘State educational agency’ means a State educational agency, as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (
(B) in the case of a student enrolled in a private school, who receives support in any form from any applicable program or any program supported in whole, in part, directly, or indirectly with funds appropriated to the Department of Education or under the Head Start Act (
SEC. 5. MINIMUM STANDARDS; RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
(a) Minimum Standards- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations to protect each student from physical or mental abuse, aversive behavioral interventions that compromise student health and safety, or any physical restraint or seclusion imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience or in a manner otherwise inconsistent with this Act. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, include regulations for the following standards:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) other school personnel in the case of a rare and clearly unavoidable emergency circumstance when school personnel trained and certified as described in clause (i) are not immediately available due to the unforeseeable nature of the emergency circumstance.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) Each State and local educational agency shall ensure that a sufficient number of school personnel are trained and certified by a State-approved training program to meet the needs of the specific student population in each school in the State or served by the local educational agency, respectively.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) The use of physical restraint or seclusion as a planned intervention shall not be written into a student’s education plan, individual safety plan, behavioral plan, or individualized education program (as defined in section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (
(6) Within 72 hours after the imposition of physical restraint or seclusion upon a student, all school personnel involved in the physical restraint or seclusion and appropriate supervisory and administrative staff shall participate in a debriefing session, which shall include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iii) advance notice of the debriefing session described in paragraph (6) that will be held regarding such incident and an opportunity to attend the debriefing session; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) in a case where serious bodily injury (as defined in
(2) devices implemented by a trained school personnel, or utilized by a student, for the specific and approved therapeutic or safety purposes for which such devices were designed, and, if applicable, prescribed, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) adaptive devices or mechanical supports used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without the use of such a mechanical support; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. STATE PLAN AND DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS AND ENFORCEMENT.
(a) State Plan- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, each State educational agency shall submit to the Secretary a State plan that provides--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS- Not later than 2 years after the date the Secretary promulgates regulations pursuant to section 5(a), and each year thereafter, each State educational agency shall (in compliance with the requirements of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (commonly known as the ‘Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974’) (
(cc) disability status, which has the meaning given the term ‘individual with a disability’ in paragraph (20) (except for subparagraph (A) of section 7 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) (
(i) withhold from the State educational agency, in whole or in part, further payments under an applicable program in accordance with section 455 of the General Education Provisions Act (
(ii) require the State educational agency to submit and implement, not later than 1 year after the State’s failure to comply, a corrective plan of action, which may include redirection of funds received under an applicable program after the date of enactment of this Act; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iii) issue a complaint to compel compliance of the State educational agency through a cease and desist order, in the same manner the Secretary is authorized to take such action under section 456 of the General Education Provisions Act (
(B) CESSATION OF WITHHOLDING OF FUNDS- Whenever the Secretary determines (whether by certification or other appropriate evidence) that a State educational agency that is subject to the withholding of payments under subparagraph (A)(i) has cured the failure providing the basis for the withholding of payments, the Secretary shall cease the withholding of payments with respect to the State educational agency under such subparagraph.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the Secretary’s authority under the General Education Provisions Act (
SEC. 7. GRANT AUTHORITY.
(a) In General- From the amount appropriated under section 12, the Secretary may award grants to State educational agencies to assist the State educational agencies in--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) establishing, implementing, and enforcing the policies and procedures to meet the minimum standards required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to section 5(a); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Application- Each State educational agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require, including information on how the State educational agency will target resources to schools and local educational agencies in need of assistance related to preventing and reducing physical restraint and seclusion.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- A State educational agency receiving a grant under this section may carry out the activities described in subsections (e) and (f), as required under the grant, by awarding subgrants, on a competitive basis, to local educational agencies.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) APPLICATION- A local educational agency desiring to receive a subgrant under paragraph (1) shall submit an application to the applicable State educational agency at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the State educational agency may require.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) Researching, developing, implementing, and evaluating strategies, policies, and procedures to reduce or eliminate seclusion and physical restraint in schools, consistent with the minimum standards required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to section 5(a).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Carrying out the reporting requirements under section 6(b) and analyzing the information included in a report prepared under such section to identify student, school personnel, and school needs related to use of physical restraint and seclusion.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) Developing and implementing high-quality professional development and training programs to implement evidence-based systematic approaches to school-wide positive behavior supports, including improving coaching, facilitation, and training capacity for administrators, teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, and other staff.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) Providing technical assistance to develop and implement evidence-based systematic approaches to school-wide positive behavior supports, including technical assistance for data-driven decisionmaking related to behavioral supports and interventions in the classroom.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) evaluate the State’s progress toward the reduction and elimination of seclusion and physical restraint in the schools located in the State, consistent with the minimum standards required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to section 5(a); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. NATIONAL ASSESSMENT.
(3) identifying the types of programs and services that have demonstrated the greatest effectiveness in preventing and reducing the number of physical restraint and seclusion incidents in schools; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) identifying personnel training models with demonstrated success in reducing the number of seclusion and physical restraint incidents in schools, including models that emphasize positive behavior supports and de-escalation techniques over physical intervention.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Report- The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) an interim report that summarizes the preliminary findings of the assessment described in subsection (a) not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SYSTEMS.
Protection and advocacy systems shall have the authority provided under section 143 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (
SEC. 10. HEAD START PROGRAMS.
(a) Regulations- The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, shall promulgate regulations with respect to Head Start agencies administering Head Start programs under the Head Start Act (
(b) Grant Authority- From the amount appropriated under section 12, the Secretary of Education may allocate funds to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to assist the Head Start agencies in establishing, implementing, and enforcing policies and procedures to meet the requirements established by regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection (a).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 11. LIMITATION OF AUTHORITY.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to restrict or limit, or allow the Secretary to restrict or limit, any other rights or remedies otherwise available to students or the families of students under Federal or State law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink