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home : news : state news free January 21, 2020

12/4/2019 10:39:00 AM
ISBE amends rule to allow certain kinds of restraint

SPRINGFIELD — After receiving significant feedback from schools and advocates across the state, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) filed an amendment yesterday to its emergency rules that banned seclusion in Illinois schools and placed restrictions on the use of physical restraint.

The amendment temporarily allows prone and supine physical restraints in narrow circumstances and only for severe crisis situations to protect the safety of students and staff. The amendment will give schools time to transition to the use of alternate interventions without causing students to be disenrolled. The amendment mandates that other less restrictive and intrusive interventions have been tried first and have not succeeded in stopping the danger.  

ISBE developed the amendment in collaboration with numerous stakeholders, in response to feedback from the field. ISBE received feedback that, in certain emergency situations, the use of prone or supine restraint is currently the only way to prevent a student from physically harming themselves or others. Several stakeholders indicated that students in private placements would be disenrolled from those schools without the amendment. Temporarily allowing prone and supine physical restraints in crisis situations supports schools in continuing to serve students safely while the State develops further training and guidance on alternate interventions and proceeds with permanent rulemaking.

The amendment continues to prohibit using prone or supine restraints in a manner that impairs a student’s ability to breathe or communicate, as well as for students with medical or psychological limitations that contraindicate their use.

The amendment requires that one staff person trained in identifying the signs of distress observe the student during the entire incident of prone or supine physical restraint. The amendment also requires an additional layer of review if a student is restrained in a prone or supine position in at least two separate instances within a 30-school day period.

The emergency rulemaking extends for 150 days from its initial filing on Nov. 19. The amendment to the emergency rules allows ISBE to collect additional feedback and review data as it develops permanent rules. Stakeholders will have multiple opportunities to submit formal comments on the proposed permanent rules.

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