435P - Restraint and Seclusion of Students

  • School personnel may implement physical restraint or seclusion only when other interventions are, or would be, in the reasonable judgment of the school personnel implementing physical restraint or seclusion in an emergency situation, ineffective and only to:

    1. Prevent a student from inflicting serious physical harm or injury to self or others;

    2. Quell a disturbance or remove a student from the scene of a disturbance in which the student’s behavior or damage to property threatens serious physical harm or injury to persons;

    3. Defend self or others from serious physical harm or injury; or

    4. Obtain possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia that are upon the person of the student or within the student’s control; or

    5. Obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects that are upon of the person of the student or within the student’s control.

    Physical restraint and seclusion shall be discontinued as soon as the imminent risk of serious physical harm or injury to self or others presented by the emergency situation has dissipated.

    Nothing in this policy shall be construed to require school personnel to attempt to implement a less restrictive intervention before using physical restraint or seclusion where, in the reasonable judgment of the school personnel in an emergency situation, a less restrictive intervention would be ineffective.

    The School Board encourages the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports to reduce and prevent the need for the use of physical restraint and seclusion.

    The Superintendent is responsible for developing procedures to address the requirements of the Virginia Board of Education Regulations regarding physical restraint and seclusion in public schools.

    The School Board will review this policy at least annually and update it as needed.


    Legal Reference(s):
    20 U.S.C. § 1401(3)

    29 U.S.C. § 705(20)(A)

    Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Section(s) 22.1-279.1, 22.1-279.1:1

    8 VAC 20-671 et seq.

    8 VAC 20-750-5 et seq.

    Superintendent’s Memo #192-20 (July 24, 2020), Regulations Governing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Elementary and Secondary Schools in Virginia

    Virginia Department of Education, Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures for Managing Student Behaviors In Emergency Situations in Virginia Public Schools (September 2009)

    U.S. Department of Education, Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document (May 2012)


    Adopted: October 5, 2010
    Amended: September 18, 2018
    Amended: December 15, 2020