Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013 - (Page 12)

FEATURE Use of Restraint in Public By: David Wickersham, Assistant General Counsel Kentucky Department of Education (Editor’s Note: This article contains excerpts from documents available from the Kentucky Department of Education regarding the recently adopted regulation on restraint and seclusion of students. The complete documents are available online at Background In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) began collecting information for Congress on the use of restraints, seclusion and aversives in public schools. The GAO report detailed serious instances of abuse of restraint and seclusion, some of which resulted in students’ deaths. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, followed the GAO report with a letter to states requesting Chief State School Officers review state policies and guidance on restraints and seclusion in schools and then develop or revise their state policies and guidelines, if needed. The Kentucky Commissioner of Education wrote to local superintendents and forwarded Secretary Duncan’s reference to the use of positive behavior interventions and supports as a means to prevent aggressive behavior. The Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD) position papers on the use of restraint and seclusion in school settings were also sent to the superintendents. In 2011, while monitoring developments at the federal level, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) became increasingly concerned about reports of the use of restraint and seclusion in Kentucky schools. In August 2012, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) origi- 704 KAR 7:160 is designed to enhance safety for both students and staff. nally approved 704 KAR 7:160. After the required comment period and public hearing, the KBE accepted KDE’s proposed changes and approved the regulation on Oct. 3, 2012. Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools went into effect on Feb. 1, 2013. Prior to this action, Kentucky had no regulation on the use of physical restraint or seclusion in public schools. 704 KAR 7:160 is designed to enhance safety for both students and staff by limiting the use of physical restraint and seclusion, training teachers on more effective ways to improve student behavior, and training teachers on how to safely conduct restraints when absolutely necessary. a. The student’s behavior poses an imminent danger of physical harm to self or to others and as permitted under KRS 503.050, 503.070 and 503.110; b. The physical restraint does not interfere with the student’s The regulation supports a positive approach to behavior that focuses on a school-wide systematic methodology that embeds evidencebased practices and data-driven decision-making to create a school environment conducive to learning. The implementation of school-wide positive behavioral supports will improve school climate and culture in order to achieve better academic and social outcomes, encompass a range of systemic and individualized positive strategies and to reinforce desired behaviors, diminish reoccurrence of inappropriate or dangerous behaviors and teach appropriate behaviors to students. ability to communicate in the student’s primary language or mode of communication, unless the student uses sign language or an augmentative mode of communication as the student’s primary mode of communication and the implementer determines that freedom of the student’s hands for brief periods during the physical restraint appears likely to result in physical harm to self or others; c. The student’s physical and psychological well-being is monitored for the duration of the physical restraint; 12 • Kentucky School Leader Spring | Summer 2013 Limits on the Use of Restraint Physical restraint may only be implemented in a public school or educational program if:

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013

Note from the Editor
Smart Decisions and Techno-fear: Evaluating Equity, Cyber-Bullying and Awareness
The Code of Ethics Turns 18
Golden Rule is Cornerstone of Ethical Leadership
Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools
President's View: Feedback for Teachers Inside and Out of the Classroom
Diapers to Diplomas: A Marriage of Career Readiness and Early Childhood Development
From the Executive Director's Desk: The Shifting Landscape of Education Law
Advertiser Index

Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013