It is so important to understand the National and State laws, as well as your local District policies, regarding restraint and seclusion. Students with special needs, especially those who are non-verbal, are at an increased risk of being restrained or placed in a seclusion setting if they present behaviors which are PERCEIVED as unmanageable by those in charge of their care. This is ABUSE! You must familiarize yourself with not only the laws and policies, but also the procedures in place which will assist you in reporting the abuse to the proper authorities. DOCUMENTATION IS KEY… so please remember to keep a log book of all events and communications regarding a suspected incident of abuse.
Below you will find many useful resources to help you learn more about restraint and seclusion. Contact your District directly to see if they have their own restraint and seclusion policy. Take note that your District CANNOT take away any provisions set forth by National and State laws. They CAN, however, elaborate within their District policy and offer MORE protections to special needs students.
This is a great article entitled, "From the Capitols: New Jersey Adopts Rules for Seclusion and Restraint for Students with Disabilities." This article gives families information on the new law that establishes guidelines for the use of seclusion and restraints for students with disabilities. There is also a link to the signed bill for your review.
This is the Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document from the U.S. Department of Education. This documents provides an overview restraint and seclusion policies and procedures, as well as efforts to address concerns regarding this matter.
This is the memo from the NJDOE to school officials regarding the Restraint and Seclusion Guidance for Students with Disabilities.
This page provides a variety of different resources for seclusion and restraint issues for individuals with disabilities, such as publications, legislation advocacy information, cases, policies, and much more!