Policy #4.22-Physical Restraint



Maintaining an orderly, safe environment conducive to learning is an expectation of all staff members of the Millis Public Schools. Further, students of the district are protected by law from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. Such restraint shall be used only in emergency situations as a last resort and with extreme caution after other lawful and less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate.

When an emergency situation arises, and physical restraint is the only option deemed appropriate to prevent a student from injuring himself or herself, another student or school community member, a teacher or employee or agent of the school district may use such reasonable force needed to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

The definitions of forms of restraint shall be as defined in 603 CMR 46.02.

 The use of mechanical restraint, medication restraint, and seclusion is prohibited. The use of prone restraint except as permitted under 603 CMR 46.03, or of any physical restraint in a manner inconsistent with the regulations at 603 CMR 46.00, is also prohibited.

Physical restraint shall be considered an emergency procedure of last resort and shall be prohibited except when a student’s behavior poses a threat of assault, or imminent, serious, physical harm to themselves and/or others and the student is not responsive to verbal directives or other lawful and less intrusive behavior interventions are deemed inappropriate.

The Superintendent will develop procedures identifying:

  •  Appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention;
  • Methods of preventing student violence, self-injurious behavior, and suicide including crisis planning and de-escalation of potentially dangerous behaviors among groups of students or individuals;
  • Descriptions and explanations of alternatives to physical restraint as well as the school’s method of physical restraint for use in emergency situations;
  • Descriptions of the school’s training requirements, follow-up procedures, and procedures to comply with reporting requirements including, but not limited to, making reasonable efforts to orally notify a parent of the use of restraint on a student within 24 hours  of its imposition and sending written notice to the parent within three school working days;
  • Procedures for receiving and investigating complaints regarding restraint practices;
  • Methods for engaging parents in discussions about restraint prevention and use of restraint solely as an emergency procedure;
  • Procedures for conducting periodic review of data and documentation on the use of restraint as required by the regulations; and
  • The use of time-out as a behavioral support strategy, including a process for obtaining approval from the Principal or his/her designee for a time-out exceeding 30 minutes.      

Each building Principal will identify staff members to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. These staff members will participate in an in-depth training program in the use of physical restraint.

In addition, each staff member will be trained regarding the school’s physical restraint policy and accompanying procedures. The Principal will arrange training to occur in the first month of each school year, or for staff hired after the beginning of the school year, within a month of their employment.

Physical restraint is prohibited as a means of punishment, or as a response to destruction of property, disruption of school order, a student’s refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others.


Physical restraint is prohibited when it is medically contraindicated, as previously documented by a licensed physician.

The use of time-out procedures during which staff continuously observe and remain immediately available to the student shall not be considered seclusion restraint.

This policy and its accompanying procedures shall be reviewed and disseminated to staff annually and made available to parents of enrolled students. The Superintendent shall provide a copy of the Physical Restraint regulations to each Principal, who shall sign a form acknowledging receipt thereof.

First Reading: waived

Second Reading: November 21, 2017

Third Reading: December 5, 2017

Adopted: December 5, 2017





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