Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1008
       By Senator Flores
       37-00672-15                                           20151008__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the seclusion and restraint on
    3         students with disabilities in public schools; amending
    4         s. 1003.573, F.S.; defining terms; providing
    5         legislative findings and intent; requiring that manual
    6         physical restraint be used only in an emergency when
    7         there is an imminent risk of serious injury or death
    8         to a student or others; providing restrictions on the
    9         use of manual physical restraint; prohibiting the use
   10         of manual physical restraint by school personnel who
   11         are not certified to use district-approved methods for
   12         applying restraint techniques; prohibiting specified
   13         techniques; requiring that each school medically
   14         evaluate a student after the student is manually
   15         physically restrained; prohibiting school personnel
   16         from placing a student in seclusion; providing
   17         requirements for the use of time-out; requiring that a
   18         school district report its training and certification
   19         procedures to the Department of Education; requiring
   20         that school personnel be trained and certified in the
   21         use of manual physical restraint; requiring that a
   22         school review a student’s functional behavior
   23         assessment and positive behavioral intervention plan
   24         under certain circumstances; requiring that parents be
   25         notified of a school district’s policies regarding the
   26         use of manual physical restraint; requiring that each
   27         school send a redacted copy of any incident report or
   28         other documentation to Disability Rights Florida;
   29         requiring that the department make available on its
   30         website data of incidents of manual physical restraint
   31         by a specified date; requiring that each school
   32         district develop policies and procedures addressing
   33         the allowable use of manual physical restraint,
   34         personnel authorized to use such restraint, training
   35         procedures, analysis of data trends, and the reduction
   36         of the use of manual physical restraint; requiring
   37         that any revisions to a school district’s policies and
   38         procedures be filed with the bureau chief of the
   39         Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
   40         by a specified date; providing an effective date.
   42  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   44         Section 1. Section 1003.573, Florida Statutes, is amended
   45  to read:
   46         1003.573 Seclusion and restraint on students with
   47  disabilities in public schools Use of restraint and seclusion on
   48  students with disabilities.—
   49         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   50         (a) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   51         (b) “Imminent risk of serious injury or death” means the
   52  impending risk of a significant injury, such as a laceration,
   53  bone fracture, substantial hematoma, or other injury to internal
   54  organs, or death.
   55         (c) “Manual physical restraint” means the use of physical
   56  restraint techniques that involve physical force applied by a
   57  teacher or other staff member to restrict the movement of all or
   58  part of a student’s body.
   59         (d) “Mechanical restraint” means the use of a physical
   60  device that restricts a student’s movement or restricts the
   61  normal function of a student’s body. The term includes the use
   62  of straps, belts, tie-downs, calming blankets, and chairs with
   63  straps; however, the term does not include the use of:
   64         1. Medical protective equipment;
   65         2. Physical equipment or orthopedic appliances, surgical
   66  dressings or bandages, or supportive body bands or other
   67  restraints necessary for ongoing medical treatment in the
   68  educational setting;
   69         3. Devices used to support functional body position or
   70  proper balance, or to prevent a person from falling out of a bed
   71  or a wheelchair, except when such device is used for any purpose
   72  other than supporting a body position or proper balance, such as
   73  coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation, to prevent
   74  imminent risk of serious injury or death of the student or
   75  others, or for any other behavior management reason; or
   76         4. Equipment used for safety during transportation, such as
   77  seatbelts or wheelchair tie-downs.
   78         (e) “Medical protective equipment” means health-related
   79  protective devices prescribed by a physician or dentist for use
   80  as student protection in response to an existing medical
   81  condition.
   82         (f) “Seclusion” means removing a student from an
   83  educational environment, involuntarily confining the student in
   84  a room or area, and preventing the student from leaving the room
   85  or area if achieved by locking the door or otherwise physically
   86  blocking the student’s way, threatening physical force or other
   87  consequences, or using physical force. The term does not include
   88  the use of time-out.
   89         (g) “Student” means a student with a disability.
   90         (h) “Time-out” means a procedure in which access to varied
   91  sources of reinforcement is removed or reduced for a particular
   92  time period contingent on a response. The opportunity to receive
   93  reinforcement is contingently removed for a specified time.
   94  Either a student is contingently removed from the reinforcing
   95  environment or the reinforcing environment is contingently
   96  removed for some stipulated duration. The term does not include
   97  the use of a locked room, a blocked exit, or physical force or
   98  threats.
  100         (a) The Legislature finds that public schools have a
  101  responsibility to ensure that each student is treated with
  102  respect and dignity in a trauma-informed environment that
  103  provides for the physical safety and security of students and
  104  others.
  105         (b) The Legislature finds that students, educators, and
  106  families are concerned about the use of seclusion and restraint,
  107  particularly when used on students in special education
  108  programs. Seclusion and restraint refer to safety procedures in
  109  which a student is isolated from others or physically held in
  110  response to serious problem behavior that places the student or
  111  others at risk of injury or harm. The Legislature is concerned
  112  that these procedures are prone to misapplication and abuse and
  113  place a student at an equal or greater risk than the risk of the
  114  student’s problem behavior. Moreover, the Legislature is
  115  concerned about the inadequate documentation of seclusion or
  116  restraint procedures, the failure to notify parents when
  117  seclusion or restraint is applied, and the failure to use data
  118  to analyze and address the cause of the precipitating behavior.
  119  Particular concerns include:
  120         1. The inappropriate selection and implementation of
  121  seclusion or restraint as a treatment or behavioral intervention
  122  rather than as a safety procedure.
  123         2. The inappropriate use of seclusion or restraint in
  124  connection with behaviors, such as noncompliance, threats, or
  125  disruption, which do not place the student or others at risk of
  126  injury or harm.
  127         3. The potential for injury or harm to students, peers, or
  128  staff during attempts to conduct seclusion or restraint.
  129         4. The potential for increased risk of injury or harm when
  130  seclusion or restraint is implemented by staff who are not
  131  adequately trained.
  132         5. The potential for the inadvertent reinforcement or
  133  magnification of the problem behavior with the use of seclusion
  134  or restraint.
  135         6. The implementation of seclusion or restraint independent
  136  of comprehensive, function-based behavioral intervention plans.
  137         (c) The Legislature finds that the majority of problem
  138  behaviors that are currently used to justify seclusion or
  139  restraint could be prevented with early identification and
  140  intensive early intervention. The need for seclusion or
  141  restraint is, in part, a result of an insufficient investment in
  142  prevention efforts. The Legislature further finds that the use
  143  of seclusion or restraint may produce trauma in students. For
  144  such students, who are already experiencing trauma, the use may
  145  cause retraumatization. The lasting effects of unaddressed
  146  childhood trauma place a heavy burden on individuals, families,
  147  and communities. Research has shown that trauma significantly
  148  increases the risk of mental health problems, difficulties with
  149  social relationships and behavior, physical illness, and poor
  150  school performance.
  151         (d) The Legislature intends that students be free from
  152  seclusion and free from the abusive and unnecessary use of
  153  restraint in public schools. The Legislature further intends to
  154  achieve an ongoing reduction of, leading to the prevention of,
  155  the use of manual physical restraint in public schools and,
  156  specifically, to prohibit the use of seclusion, prone and supine
  157  restraint, and mechanical restraint on students. The Legislature
  158  also intends that manual physical restraint be used only when an
  159  imminent risk of serious injury or death exists; that manual
  160  physical restraint not be employed as punishment, for the
  161  convenience of staff, or as a substitute for a positive
  162  behavior-support plan; and that, if manual physical restraint is
  163  used, persons applying such restraint impose the least possible
  164  restrictions and discontinue the restraint as soon as the threat
  165  of imminent risk of serious injury or death ceases.
  166         (3) MANUAL PHYSICAL RESTRAINT.—Manual physical restraint
  167  may be used only in an emergency when there is an imminent risk
  168  of serious injury or death to the student or others.
  169         (a) Manual physical restraint may be used only for the
  170  period of time necessary to eliminate the imminent risk of
  171  serious injury or death to the student or others.
  172         (b) The degree of force applied during manual physical
  173  restraint must be only that degree of force necessary to protect
  174  the student or others from bodily injury.
  175         (c) Manual physical restraint shall be used only by school
  176  personnel who are qualified and certified to use the district
  177  approved methods for the appropriate application of specific
  178  restraint techniques. School personnel who have received
  179  training that is not associated with their employment with the
  180  school district, such as a former law enforcement officer who is
  181  now a teacher, shall be certified in the specific district
  182  approved techniques and may not apply techniques or procedures
  183  acquired elsewhere.
  184         (d) School personnel may not manually physically restrain a
  185  student except when an imminent risk of serious injury or death
  186  to the student or others exists.
  187         (e) School personnel may not use any of the following
  188  manual physical restraint techniques on a student:
  189         1. Prone and supine restraint.
  190         2. Pain inducement to obtain compliance.
  191         3. Bone locks.
  192         4. Hyperextension of joints.
  193         5. Peer restraint.
  194         6. Mechanical restraint.
  195         7. Pressure or weight on the chest, lungs, sternum,
  196  diaphragm, back, or abdomen, causing chest compression.
  197         8. Straddling or sitting on any part of the body or any
  198  maneuver that places pressure, weight, or leverage on the neck
  199  or throat, on an artery, or on the back of the student’s head or
  200  neck or that otherwise obstructs or restricts the circulation of
  201  blood or obstructs an airway.
  202         9. Any type of choking, including hand chokes, and any type
  203  of neck or head hold.
  204         10. Any technique that involves pushing anything on or into
  205  the student’s mouth, nose, eyes, or any part of the face or that
  206  involves covering the face or body with anything, including soft
  207  objects such as pillows or washcloths.
  208         11. Any maneuver that involves punching, hitting, poking,
  209  pinching, or shoving.
  210         12. Any type of mat or blanket restraint.
  211         13. Water or lemon sprays.
  212         (f) The school shall ensure that a student is medically
  213  evaluated by a physician, nurse, or other qualified medical
  214  professional as soon as possible after the student has been
  215  manually physically restrained by school personnel.
  216         (4) SECLUSION; TIME-OUT.—
  217         (a) School personnel may not place a student in seclusion.
  218         (b) School personnel may place a student in time-out if the
  219  following conditions are met:
  220         1. The time-out is part of a positive behavioral
  221  intervention plan developed for that student from a functional
  222  behavioral assessment and referenced in the student’s individual
  223  education plan.
  224         2. There is documentation that the time-out was preceded by
  225  the use of other positive behavioral supports that were not
  226  effective.
  227         3. The time-out takes place in a classroom or in another
  228  environment where class educational activities are taking place.
  229         4. The student is not physically prevented from leaving the
  230  time-out area.
  231         5. The student is observed on a constant basis by an adult
  232  for the duration of the time-out.
  233         6. The time-out area and process are free of any action
  234  that is likely to embarrass or humiliate the student.
  235         (c) Time-out may not be used for a period that exceeds 1
  236  minute for each year of a student’s age, and time-out must end
  237  immediately when the student is calm enough to return to his or
  238  her seat.
  239         (d) Time-out may not be used as a punishment or negative
  240  consequence of a student’s behavior.
  242         (a) Each school district shall report its training and
  243  certification procedures to the department by publishing the
  244  procedures in the district’s special policies and procedures
  245  manual.
  246         (b) Training for initial certification in the use of manual
  247  physical restraint must include:
  248         1. Procedures for deescalating problem behaviors before the
  249  problems increase to a level or intensity necessitating physical
  250  intervention.
  251         2. Information regarding the risks associated with manual
  252  physical restraint and procedures for assessing individual
  253  situations and students in order to determine if the use of
  254  manual physical restraint is appropriate and sufficiently safe.
  255         3. The actual use of specific techniques that range from
  256  the least to most restrictive, with ample opportunity for
  257  trainees to demonstrate proficiency in the use of such
  258  techniques.
  259         4. Techniques for implementing manual physical restraint
  260  with multiple staff members working as a team.
  261         5. Techniques for assisting a student to reenter the
  262  instructional environment and again engage in learning.
  263         6. Instruction in the district’s documentation and
  264  reporting requirements.
  265         7. Procedures to identify and deal with possible medical
  266  emergencies arising during the use of manual physical restraint.
  267         8. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  268         (c) School districts shall provide refresher certification
  269  training courses in manual physical restraint techniques at
  270  least annually to all staff members who have successfully
  271  completed the initial certification program. The district must
  272  identify those persons to be certified and maintain a record
  273  that includes the name and position of the person certified, the
  274  date of the most recent certification, an indication of whether
  275  it was an initial certification or a refresher certification,
  276  and whether the individual successfully completed the
  277  certification and achieved proficiency.
  278         (d) School district policies regarding the use of manual
  279  physical restraint must address whether it is appropriate for an
  280  employee working in specific settings, such as a school bus
  281  driver, school bus aide, job coach, employment specialist, or
  282  cafeteria worker, to be certified in manual physical restraint
  283  techniques. In the case of school resource officers or others
  284  who may be employed by other agencies when working in a school,
  285  administrators shall review each agency’s specific policies to
  286  be aware of techniques that may be used.
  287         (6) STUDENT-CENTERED FOLLOWUP.—If a student is manually
  288  physically restrained more than twice during a school year, the
  289  school shall review the student’s functional behavioral
  290  assessment and positive behavioral intervention plan.
  291         (7)(1) DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTING.—
  292         (a) At the beginning of each school year, a school district
  293  shall provide a copy of its policies on emergency procedures,
  294  including its policies on the use of manual physical restraint,
  295  to each student’s parent or guardian. The student’s parent or
  296  guardian must sign a form indicating that he or she has received
  297  and read the district’s policies, which the student’s school
  298  shall retain on file.
  299         (b)(a) A school shall prepare an incident report within 24
  300  hours after a student is released from a restraint or seclusion.
  301  If the student’s release occurs on a day before the school
  302  closes for the weekend, a holiday, or another reason, the
  303  incident report must be completed by the end of the school day
  304  on the day the school reopens.
  305         (c)(b) The following must be included in the incident
  306  report:
  307         1. The name of the student restrained or secluded.
  308         2. The age, grade, ethnicity, and disability of the student
  309  restrained or secluded.
  310         3. The date and time of the event and the duration of the
  311  restraint or seclusion.
  312         4. The location at which the restraint or seclusion
  313  occurred.
  314         5. A description of the type of restraint used in terms
  315  established by the Department of Education.
  316         6. The name of the person using or assisting in the
  317  restraint or seclusion of the student.
  318         7. The name of any nonstudent who was present to witness
  319  the restraint or seclusion.
  320         8. A description of the incident, including:
  321         a. The context in which the restraint or seclusion
  322  occurred.
  323         b. The student’s behavior leading up to and precipitating
  324  the decision to use manual physical manual or physical restraint
  325  or seclusion, including an indication as to why there was an
  326  imminent risk of serious injury or death to the student or
  327  others.
  328         c. The specific positive behavioral strategies used to
  329  prevent and deescalate the behavior.
  330         d. What occurred with the student immediately after the
  331  termination of the restraint or seclusion.
  332         e. Any injuries, visible marks, or possible medical
  333  emergencies that may have occurred during the restraint or
  334  seclusion, documented according to district policies.
  335         f. The results of the medical evaluation and a copy of any
  336  report by the medical professionals conducting the evaluation,
  337  if available. If the medical report is not available within 24
  338  hours, the district must submit the medical report separately as
  339  soon as it becomes available.
  340         g.f. Evidence of steps taken to notify the student’s parent
  341  or guardian.
  342         (d)(c) A school shall notify the parent or guardian of a
  343  student each time manual physical manual or physical restraint
  344  or seclusion is used. Such notification must be in writing and
  345  provided before the end of the school day on which the restraint
  346  or seclusion occurs. Reasonable efforts must also be taken to
  347  notify the parent or guardian by telephone or computer e-mail,
  348  or both, and these efforts must be documented. The school shall
  349  obtain, and keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s
  350  signed acknowledgment that he or she was notified of his or her
  351  child’s restraint or seclusion.
  352         (e)(d) A school shall also provide the parent or guardian
  353  with the completed incident report in writing by mail within 3
  354  school days after a student was manually physically manually or
  355  physically restrained or secluded. The school shall obtain, and
  356  keep in its records, the parent’s or guardian’s signed
  357  acknowledgment that he or she received a copy of the incident
  358  report.
  359         (8)(2) MONITORING.—
  360         (a) Monitoring of The use of manual physical manual or
  361  physical restraint or seclusion on students shall be monitored
  362  occur at the classroom, building, district, and state levels.
  363         (b) Any documentation prepared by a school pursuant to as
  364  required in subsection (7) (1) shall be provided to the school
  365  principal, the district director of Exceptional Student
  366  Education, and the bureau chief of the Bureau of Exceptional
  367  Education and Student Services electronically each week month
  368  that the school is in session.
  369         (c) Each week that a school is in session, the school shall
  370  send a redacted copy of any incident report and other
  371  documentation prepared pursuant to subsection (7) to Disability
  372  Rights Florida.
  373         (d)(c) The department shall maintain aggregate data of
  374  incidents of manual physical manual or physical restraint and
  375  seclusion and disaggregate the data for analysis by county,
  376  school, student exceptionality, and other variables, including
  377  the type and method of restraint or seclusion used. This
  378  information shall be updated monthly and made available to the
  379  public through the department’s website no later than January
  380  31, 2016.
  381         (e)(d) The department shall establish standards for
  382  documenting, reporting, and monitoring the use of manual
  383  physical manual or physical restraint or mechanical restraint,
  384  and occurrences of seclusion. These standards shall be provided
  385  to school districts by October 1, 2011.
  387         (a) Each school district shall develop policies and
  388  procedures that are consistent with this section and that govern
  389  the following:
  390         1. Allowable use of manual physical restraint on students.
  391         2. Personnel authorized to use manual physical restraint.
  392         3. Training procedures.
  393         4.1. Incident-reporting procedures.
  394         5.2. Data collection and monitoring, including when, where,
  395  and why students are restrained and or secluded; the frequency
  396  of occurrences of such restraint or seclusion; and the prone or
  397  mechanical restraint that is most used.
  398         6.3. Monitoring and reporting of data collected.
  399         7.4. Training programs relating to manual physical manual
  400  or physical restraint and seclusion.
  401         8.5. The district’s plan for selecting personnel to be
  402  trained.
  403         9.6. The district’s plan for reducing the use of restraint
  404  and seclusion particularly in settings in which it occurs
  405  frequently or with students who are restrained repeatedly, and
  406  for reducing the use of prone restraint and mechanical
  407  restraint. The plan must include a goal for reducing the use of
  408  restraint and seclusion and must include activities, skills, and
  409  resources needed to achieve that goal. Activities may include,
  410  but are not limited to:
  411         a. Additional training in positive behavioral support and
  412  crisis management;
  413         b. Parental involvement;
  414         c. Data review;
  415         d. Updates of students’ functional behavioral analysis and
  416  positive behavior intervention plans;
  417         e. Additional student evaluations;
  418         f. Debriefing with staff;
  419         g. Use of schoolwide positive behavior support; and
  420         h. Changes to the school environment.
  421         10. Analysis of data to determine trends.
  422         11. Ongoing reduction of the use of manual physical
  423  restraint.
  424         (b) Any revisions that a school district makes to its to
  425  the district’s policies and procedures, which are must be
  426  prepared as part of the school district’s its special policies
  427  and procedures, must be filed with the bureau chief of the
  428  Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services no later
  429  than January 31, 2012.
  430         (4) PROHIBITED RESTRAINT.—School personnel may not use a
  431  mechanical restraint or a manual or physical restraint that
  432  restricts a student’s breathing.
  433         (5) SECLUSION.—School personnel may not close, lock, or
  434  physically block a student in a room that is unlit and does not
  435  meet the rules of the State Fire Marshal for seclusion time-out
  436  rooms.
  437         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.