Bill Text: NJ S136 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes certain requirements for use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities in school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities; requires DOE to collect and report data regarding restraint and seclusion.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Failed) 2018-03-05 - Withdrawn from Consideration [S136 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S136-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 136

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  KRISTIN M. CORRADO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes certain requirements for use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities in school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities; requires DOE to collect and report data regarding restraint and seclusion.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning the use of physical restraint and seclusion techniques on students with disabilities and supplementing chapter 46 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     "Seclusion technique" means the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving, but does not include a timeout.

     "Timeout" means a behavior management technique that involves the monitored separation of a student in a non-locked setting, and is implemented for the purpose of calming.

 

     2.    a. A school district or an approved private school for students with disabilities that utilizes physical restraint on students with disabilities shall ensure that:

       (1)  physical restraint is used only in an emergency in which the student is exhibiting behavior that places the student or others in immediate physical danger;

      (2)  a student is not restrained in the prone position, unless the student's primary care physician authorizes the use of this restraint technique;

      (3) staff members who are involved in the restraint of a student receive training in safe techniques for physical restraint and that the training is updated at least annually;

      (4)  the parent or guardian of a student is immediately notified when physical restraint is used on that student, which notification may be by telephone or electronic communication.  A full written report of the incident of physical restraint shall be provided to the parent or guardian within 48 hours of the occurrence of the incident;

     (5) each incident in which a physical restraint is used is carefully and continuously visually monitored to ensure the appropriateness of its use and the safety of the child; and

     (6)   each incident in which physical restraint is used is documented in writing in sufficient detail to enable the staff to understand the student's behavior over time and use this information to develop or improve the behavior intervention plan.

     b.    A school district and an approved private school for students with disabilities shall attempt to minimize the use of physical restraints through the development and implementation of individualized, comprehensive, positive behavior intervention plans.

     3.    a. A school district or an approved private school for students with disabilities that utilizes seclusion techniques on students with disabilities shall ensure that:

     (1)   a seclusion technique is used on a student with disabilities only with the prior written consent of the student's primary care physician or in an emergency in which the student is exhibiting behavior that places the student or others in immediate physical danger;

     (2)   each incident in which a seclusion technique is used is carefully and continuously visually monitored to ensure the appropriateness of its use and the safety of the child; and

     (3)   each incident in which a seclusion technique is used is documented in writing in sufficient detail to enable the staff to understand the student's behavior over time and use this information to develop or improve the behavior intervention plan.

     b.    A school district and an approved private school for students with disabilities shall attempt to minimize the use of seclusion techniques through the development and implementation of individualized, comprehensive, positive behavior intervention plans.

 

     4.    a. The Department of Education shall annually collect data from school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities on the number of times a physical restraint or a seclusion technique was utilized on a student and the type and duration of the physical restraint or seclusion technique that was utilized, and the number of students on which a physical restraint or a seclusion technique was utilized.  The department shall publish the data annually on its website in a manner that protects student privacy.  The data published on the website shall be disaggregated by county and by the race, gender, and age of the student.

     b.    The department shall review the data annually and shall provide assistance to those school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities for which the data indicate a high incidence of the use of physical restraint or seclusion techniques, on recommended methods for reducing the use of physical restraint or seclusion techniques.

     c.     The department shall establish guidelines for school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities to ensure that a review process is in place to examine the use of physical restraints or seclusion techniques in emergency situations, and for the repeated use of these methods for an individual child, within the same classroom, or by a single  individual.  The review process shall include educational, clinical, and administrative personnel.  Pursuant to the review process the school district or approved private school for students with disabilities may, as deemed appropriate, determine to revise a behavior intervention plan, classroom supports, or a staff member's professional development plan.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires a school district or an approved private school for students with disabilities that chooses to utilize physical restraint on students with disabilities to ensure that:

   physical restraint is used only in an emergency in which the student is exhibiting behavior that places the student or others in immediate physical danger;

   a student is not restrained in the prone position unless the student's primary care physician authorizes the use of this restraint technique;

   staff members who are involved in the restraint of a student receive training in safe techniques for physical restraint.  This training must be updated at least annually; and

   the parent or guardian of a student is immediately notified by telephone or through some means of electronic communication when physical restraint has been used on the student.  A full written report of the incident must be provided to the parent or guardian within 48 hours of the occurrence of the incident.

     The bill also requires a school district or private school for students with disabilities to ensure that a seclusion technique is used on a student with disabilities only with the prior written consent of the student's primary care physician or in an emergency in which the student is exhibiting behavior that places the student or others in immediate physical danger.

     The bill provides that for the use of either physical restraints or seclusion techniques:

   each incident must be visually monitored;

   each incident must be documented in writing in detail; and

   attempts must be made to minimize the use of these measures through the development and implementation of individualized comprehensive, positive behavior intervention plans.

     In addition, under the provisions of the bill, the Department of Education is required to annually collect and publish on its website data from school districts and private schools for students with disabilities on the number of times a physical restraint or a seclusion technique was utilized on a student and the type and duration of the physical restraint or seclusion technique that was used, and the number of students on which a physical restraint or a seclusion technique was utilized.  The department will disaggregate the data by county and by the race, gender, and age of the student.

     The bill to: 1) provides that physical restraint will be used only in an emergency in which the student is exhibiting certain dangerous behavior and that the required written report on the use of physical restraint will be provided to the parent or guardian within 48 hours of the incident, rather than 24 hours; 2) provide that seclusion techniques will be permitted when there is an emergency in which the student is exhibiting certain dangerous behavior, in addition to when the primary care physician has provided prior written consent; 3)  provides that in the case of the use of physical restraints or seclusion techniques, the incident is visually monitored and documented in writing; 4) requires that school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities attempt to minimize the use of physical restraints and seclusion techniques through the implementation of positive behavior intervention plans; 5)  provides greater detail on the type of data to be collected and published by the department on the use of physical restraint and seclusion techniques and require the department to provide assistance to schools where the data indicate a high incidence of the use of physical restraint or seclusion techniques; and 6) requires the department to establish guidelines for school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities to ensure a review of the use of physical restraints and seclusion techniques for the purpose of revising certain protocols.   

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