Virginia Administrative Code
Section 8VAC20-671-660 - Managing student behavior in emergency situations

Universal Citation: 8 VA Admin Code 8VAC20-671-660

Current through Register Vol. 39, No. 3, September 26, 2022

A. Each school shall have written policies and procedures made available annually to students, parents, and placing agencies that include, but are not limited to:

1. 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.

2. A statement that corporal punishment and abusive techniques and interventions are not authorized, permitted, or condoned.

3. A statement that behavior management techniques are applied in order of their degree of intrusiveness or restrictiveness and the conditions under which they may be used by trained personnel.

B. Physical restraint or seclusion is allowed only in an emergency situation and only when it is necessary to protect the student or another person from imminent danger of serious physical harm after less intrusive interventions have been attempted and failed to manage that particular behavior and there is a substantial explanation for why other interventions were deemed inadequate or inappropriate .

1. The use of restraint or seclusion, particularly when there is repeated use for an individual child, multiple uses within the same classroom, or multiple uses by the same individual, shall trigger a review and, if appropriate, a revision of behavioral strategies currently in place to address dangerous behavior. If positive behavioral strategies are not in place, staff shall develop them.

2. In cases where a student has a history of dangerous behavior for which restraint or seclusion was considered or used, a school shall have a plan developed in consultation with the parent for (i) teaching and supporting more appropriate behavior and (ii) determining positive methods to prevent behavioral escalations that have previously resulted in the use of restraint or seclusion.

3. Physical restraint or seclusion shall not be used for disciplinary reasons, as a punishment , or retaliation, or for staff's convenience.

4. Each student is entitled to be completely free from any unnecessary use of physical restraint or seclusion.

5. Staff shall continuously monitor the use of physical restraint and seclusion and shall not rely on an electronic surveillance device.

6. Physical restraint may only be implemented, monitored, or discontinued by staff who have received proper training .

7. The door to any room in which a student is secluded may be held shut only when a staff member is personally securing it. The door must immediately disengage when the staff member steps away from it. The room must meet specification including size and viewing panels that ensure the student's safety at all times including during a fire or other emergency.

8. Schools shall permit parents to inspect any area used during an emergency for the purpose of seclusion.

9. The parent shall be informed on the day of each incident of physical restraint or seclusion. The student's home school division and placing agency shall be informed as soon as possible but within 24 hours of the occurrence.

10. Each application of physical restraint or seclusion shall be fully documented in the student's record including date, time, staff involved, justification for the physical restraint or seclusion, behavior antecedents, less restrictive interventions that were unsuccessfully attempted prior to using physical restraint or seclusion, duration, description of method or methods of physical restraint techniques used, signature of the person completing the report and date, and reviewer's signature and date. The written report shall be made available to the parent within two business days of the occurrence and opportunity given for the parent and student, as appropriate, to discuss the matter with school staff.

11. Schools shall collect and annually report to the department the number of times restraint and seclusion were used during the school year. The data shall be disaggregated by students and number of occurrences.

Derived From Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 24, eff. 8/26/2015.

Statutory Authority: §§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-321 of the Code of Virginia.

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