- Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in an area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.
- Restraint means to be physically held, including physical restraint (a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs, or head freely) and mechanical restraint (the use of a device to restrict a student’s freedom of movement).
Michigan seclusion and restraint laws
The 2016 legislation (House Bills 5409-5417) says that restraint and seclusion practices may only be used if a child is a danger to themselves or others. The bills also require any use of restraint and seclusion to be reported to the parents and the Michigan Department of Education, as well as mandate additional training for school personnel on how to handle behavioral situations.
- Require districts and intermediate school districts to develop policies that follow the state plan.
- Define the conditions under which seclusion and restraint could be used during emergencies and require that such incidents be reported.
- Establish a “positive behavioral support system and intervention plan” to be adopted by all schools.
- Create best practices for data collection on incidents and school training requirements for emergencies.
Seclusion and Restraint Documents from Michigan Department of Education
- Policy for the Emergency Use of Seclusion and Restraint MDE
- Emergency Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint Frequently Asked Questions MDE
- Supporting Student Behavior Standards for the Emergency use of Seclusion and Restraint MDE
- Seclusion and Restraint Documentation Form MDE
- Seclusion and Restraint Debriefing Form MDE
- Be sure to visit our webpage on Positive Behavior Supports
- Sample No Restraint Letter from RespectAbility Law Center
- Abuse, Seclusion and Restraint in School– Wrightslaw webpage about restraints, seclusion and abuse at schools
- US Department of Education: Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document The purpose of this resource document is to present and describe 15 principles for state, district, and school staff; parents; and other stakeholders to consider when states, localities, and districts develop policies and procedures which should be in writing on the use of restraint and seclusion (more about the resource document).
We also have a series of webpages to help understand behavior:
Accommodations/Modifications Sometimes an accommodation or modification to the classroom or the curriculum is the solution to a challenging behavior
Behavior Intervention Plan A written plan that identifies problem behaviors and how they will be addressed.
Behavior is Communication All behavior happens for a reason, but why?
Bullying Definitions, actions to take, specific protections for students with disabilities.
Discipline Covering discipline, suspension, expulsion, manifestation determination review.
Functional Behavior Assessment/Analysis A process for collecting data and analyzing the function of (ie- the reason why) a challenging behavior is occurring.
Positive Behavior Supports An approach to addressing challenging behaviors that teaches positive behavior skills rather than just using punishment.
Seclusion and Restraint When school personnel tie down, pin down, and confine children to locked rooms or boxes.
School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports A building-wide initiative to support all students in school.