§416.21. Behavior of students with exceptionalities; use of seclusion and physical restraint
A. As used in this Section:
(1) "Imminent risk of harm" means an immediate and impending threat of a person
causing substantial physical injury to self or others.
(2)(a) "Mechanical restraint" means the application of any device or object used to
limit a person's movement.
(b) Mechanical restraint does not include:
(i) A protective or stabilizing device used in strict accordance with the
manufacturer's instructions for proper use and which is used in compliance with orders
issued by an appropriately licensed health care provider.
(ii) Any device used by a duly licensed law enforcement officer in the execution of
his official duties.
(3)(a) "Physical restraint" means bodily force used to limit a person's movement.
(b) Physical restraint does not include:
(i) Consensual, solicited, or unintentional contact.
(ii) Momentary blocking of a student's action if the student's action is likely to result
in harm to the student or any other person.
(iii) Holding of a student, by one school employee, for the purpose of calming or
comforting the student, provided the student's freedom of movement or normal access to his
or her body is not restricted.
(iv) Minimal physical contact for the purpose of safely escorting a student from one
area to another.
(v) Minimal physical contact for the purpose of assisting the student in completing
a task or response.
(4) "Positive behavior interventions and support" means a systematic approach to
embed evidence-based practices and data-driven decision making when addressing student
behavior in order to improve school climate and culture.
(5) "School employee" means a teacher, paraprofessional, administrator, support staff
member, or a provider of related services.
(6) "Seclusion" means a procedure that isolates and confines a student in a separate
room or area until he or she is no longer an immediate danger to self or others.
(7) "Seclusion room" means a room or other confined area, used on an individual
basis, in which a student is removed from the regular classroom setting for a limited time to
allow the student the opportunity to regain control in a private setting and from which the
student is involuntarily prevented from leaving.
(8) "Written guidelines and procedures" means the written guidelines and procedures
adopted by a school's governing authority regarding appropriate responses to student
behavior that may require immediate intervention.
B.(1) Seclusion shall be used only:
(a) For behaviors that involve an imminent risk of harm.
(b) As a last resort when de-escalation attempts have failed and the student continues
to pose an imminent threat to self or others.
(2) Seclusion shall not be used to address behaviors such as general noncompliance,
self-stimulation, and academic refusal. Such behaviors shall be responded to with less
stringent and less restrictive techniques.
(3)(a) A seclusion room shall be used only as a last resort if and when less restrictive
measures, such as positive behavioral supports, constructive and non-physical de-escalation,
and restructuring of a student's environment, have failed to stop a student's actions that pose
an imminent risk of harm.
(b) A student shall be placed in a seclusion room only by a school employee who
uses accepted methods of escorting a student to a seclusion room, placing a student in a
seclusion room, and supervising a student while he or she is in the seclusion room.
(c) Only one student may be placed in a seclusion room at any given time, and the
school employee supervising the student must be able to see and hear the student the entire
time the student is placed in the seclusion room.
(4) A seclusion room shall:
(a) Be free of any object that poses a danger to the student placed in the room.
(b) Have an observation window and be of a size that is appropriate for the student's
size, behavior, and chronological and developmental age.
(c) Have a ceiling height and heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems
comparable to operating classrooms in the school.
C.(1) Physical restraint shall be used only:
(a) When a student's behavior presents a threat of imminent risk of harm to self or
others and only as a last resort to protect the safety of self and others.
(b) To the degree necessary to stop dangerous behavior.
(c) In a manner that causes no physical injury to the student, results in the least
possible discomfort, and does not interfere in any way with a student's breathing or ability
to communicate with others.
(2) No student shall be subjected to any form of mechanical restraint.
(3) No student shall be physically restrained in a manner that places excessive
pressure on the student's chest or back or that causes asphyxia.
(4) A student shall be physically restrained only in a manner that is directly
proportionate to the circumstances and to the student's size, age, and severity of behavior.
D. Seclusion and physical restraint shall not be used as a form of discipline or
punishment, as a threat to control, bully, or obtain behavioral compliance, or for the
convenience of school personnel.
E. No student shall be subjected to unreasonable, unsafe, or unwarranted use of
seclusion or physical restraint.
F. A student shall not be placed in seclusion or physically restrained if he or she is
known to have any medical or psychological condition that precludes such action, as certified
by a licensed health care provider in a written statement provided to the school in which the
student is enrolled.
G. A student who has been placed in seclusion or has been physically restrained shall
be monitored continuously. Such monitoring shall be documented at least every fifteen
minutes and adjustments made accordingly, based upon observations of the student's
H. A student shall be removed from seclusion or released from physical restraint as
soon as the reasons for justifying such action have subsided.
I.(1) The parent or other legal guardian of a student who has been placed in seclusion
or physically restrained shall be notified as soon as possible. The student's parent or other
legal guardian shall also be notified in writing, within twenty-four hours, of each incident of
seclusion or physical restraint. Such notice shall include the reason for such seclusion or
physical restraint, the procedures used, the length of time of the student's seclusion or
physical restraint, and the names and titles of any school employee involved.
(2) The director or supervisor of special education shall be notified any time a
student is placed in seclusion or is physically restrained.
J. A school employee who has placed a student in seclusion or who has physically
restrained a student shall document and report each incident in accordance with the policies
adopted by the school's governing authority. Such report shall be submitted to the school
principal not later than the school day immediately following the day on which the student
was placed in seclusion or physically restrained and a copy shall be provided to the student's
parent or legal guardian.
K. If a student is involved in five incidents in a single school year involving the use
of physical restraint or seclusion, the student's Individualized Education Plan team shall
review and revise the student's behavior intervention plan to include any appropriate and
necessary behavioral supports. Thereafter, if the student's challenging behavior continues
or escalates requiring repeated use of seclusion or physical restraint practices, the special
education director or his designee shall review the student's plans at least once every three
L. Repealed by Acts 2016, No.522, §2, eff. June 13, 2016.
M.(1) The governing authority of each public elementary and secondary school shall
adopt written guidelines and procedures regarding:
(a) Reporting requirements and follow-up procedures.
(b) Notification requirements for school officials and a student's parent or other legal
(c) An explanation of the methods of physical restraint and the school employee
training requirements relative to the use of restraint.
(2)(a) These guidelines and procedures shall be provided to the state Department of
Education, all school employees and every parent of a student with an exceptionality. The
guidelines and procedures shall also be posted at each school and on each school system's
(b) The provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph shall not be applicable to
the parent of a student who has been deemed to be gifted or talented unless the student has
been identified as also having a disability.
N.(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall adopt rules
establishing guidelines and procedures for public school systems to follow regarding the
reporting of incidents of seclusion and physical restraint, including specific data elements to
be included in such reporting.
(2) The governing authority of each public elementary and secondary school, in
accordance with state board policy, shall report all instances where seclusion or physical
restraint is used to address student behavior to the state Department of Education.
(3)(a) The state Department of Education shall maintain a database of all reported
incidents of seclusion and physical restraint of students with exceptionalities and shall
disaggregate the data for analysis by school; student age, race, ethnicity, and gender; student
disability, where applicable; and any involved school employees.
(b)(i) Based upon the data collected, the state Department of Education shall
annually compile a comprehensive report regarding the use of seclusion and physical restraint
of students with exceptionalities, which shall at a minimum include the following:
(aa) The number of incidents of physical restraint disaggregated by school system;
student age, race, ethnicity, gender, and student disability classification.
(bb) The number of incidents of seclusion disaggregated by school system; student
age, race, ethnicity, gender, and student disability classification.
(cc) A list of the school systems and charter schools that have complied with the
reporting requirements pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection.
(ii) The state Department of Education shall post the annual report on its website and
submit a written copy to the Senate and House committees on education and the
Advisory Council on Student Behavior and Discipline established pursuant to R.S. 17:253.
Acts 2011, No. 328, §1, eff. June 29, 2011; Acts 2013, No. 1, §1; Acts 2016, No. 522,
§§1, 2, eff. June 13, 2016.