3246 Policy – Restraint, Isolation and Other Use of Reasonable Force

It is the policy of Bellingham Public Schools that the district maintains a safe learning environment while treating all students with dignity and respect. All students in the district, including those who have an individualized education program (IEP) or plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will remain free from unreasonable restraint, restraint devices, isolation, and other uses of physical force.  Under no circumstances will these techniques be used as a form of discipline or punishment.

This policy is intended to address district students.  It is not intended to prevent or limit the use of restraint or other reasonable force as necessary with adults or other youth from outside the district as allowed by law.

Use of restraint, isolation, and other forms of reasonable force may be used on any student when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an “imminent likelihood of serious harm” as defined by RCW 70.96B.010 and explained in the procedure accompanying this policy.  Staff will closely monitor such actions to prevent harm to the student and will use the minimum amount of restraint and isolation appropriate to protect the safety of students and staff.  The restraint, isolation, and other forms of reasonable force will be discontinued when the likelihood of serious harm has dissipated.

The superintendent or a designee will develop procedures to implement this policy, including review, reporting and parent/guardian notification of incidents involving restraint or isolation as required by law. Additionally, the superintendent will annually report to the board on incidents involving the use of force.

Approved By: Greg Baker
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 05/14/09; 11/30/15
Updated: 05/19/16
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Legal References: Content

RCW 9A.16.020 Use of force – When lawful

RCW 9A.16.100 Use of force on children — Policy — Actions presumed unreasonable

RCW 28A.150.300 Corporal Punishment Prohibited – Adoption of policy

RCW 28A.155.210 – Use of restraint or isolation – Requirements for procedures to notify parent or guardian

RCW 28A.600.485 – Restraint of students with individualized education programs or plans developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973—Procedures—Definitions. [as amended by SHB 1240]

RCW 70.96B.010 – Definitions

Chapter 391-172A WAC – Rules for the provision of special education

WAC 392-400-235 Discipline — Conditions and limitations

Management Resources: Content

2016 – March Issue

2015 – July Policy Alert

2013 – December Issue

2013 – July Issue

Policy News, December 2008 Use of Reasonable Force Policy