1. Home
  2. 5000s
  3. 5142.2 (R) Physical Restraints

5142.2 (R) Physical Restraints

NORTHFIELD board of education File code: 5142.2

Northfield, New Jersey _____ Monitored

_____ Mandated

_____ Other Reasons


Physical restraint

Physical Restraint Limitations

  1. Physical restraint is appropriate only when a student is displaying physical behavior that presents substantial imminent risk of injury to the student or others and/or the student is demonstrating the intent and the ability to cause injury within a matter of minutes;
  2. Physical restraint may only be employed as a last resort after other methods of de-escalating a dangerous situation have been attempted without success;
  3. Physical restraint may only be employed by staff members who have received district approved crisis intervention training in the use of physical restraint procedures and conducted in a manner consistent with the techniques prescribed in the training program;
  4. Physical restraint shall last only as long as is necessary for the student to regain behavioral stability, and the risk of injury has ended, usually a matter of minutes;
  5. The degree of physical restriction employed shall be in proportion to the circumstances of the incident, the size and condition of the student, and the potential risks for injury to the student;
  6. Mechanical or chemical restraints are not authorized in the school;
  7. Prone or supine forms of physical restraint are not authorized and are prohibited unless the student’s primary care physician authorizes the use of this restraint technique.

A student shall be released from physical restraint immediately upon a determination by the staff member administering the restraint that the student is no longer in imminent danger of causing harm to him/herself, others, or imminent property destruction.

Students who are subjected to the use of physical restraint shall be evaluated by the school nurse or, as appropriate, a physician to ensure the health and wellbeing of the student. The student may also be required to undergo educational, behavioral and/or psychological assessment as may be determined necessary.

Prohibited Use of Physical Restraint

  1. Physical restraint is not appropriate and shall not be used without circumstances that present an imminent risk of injury to someone;
  2. No student shall be restrained in the prone position, unless the student’s primary care physician authorizes the use of this restraint technique;
  3. Seclusion techniques on students with disabilities shall not be used unless the student’s primary care physician has authorized the use of seclusion techniques and given prior written consent;
  4. A verbal threat or verbally aggressive behavior does not itself indicate a substantial risk of injury, and shall not result in restraint;
  5. Destruction or damage to property does not constitute a risk of imminent injury unless in so doing a risk of injury to the student or others is created, and shall not result in the use of physical restraint;
  6. When a known medical or physical condition of the student would make the restraint procedures dangerous for that student (e.g. students with heart or circulatory conditions, asthma, etc.) physical restraint shall not be employed;
  7. Restraint shall never be used as a punishment, or to force compliance with staff commands.

Training Requirements

The principal shall identify staff in positions where the use of physical restraint may be necessary and ensure that training is provided. Staff members who are involved in the restraint of a student shall receive training in safe techniques for physical restraint and the training shall be updated at least annually. Any staff member who has not received training and is involved in an incident that includes the physical restrain of a student shall receive training within 30 days of the incident. The superintendent and/or the principal in consultation with the coordinator of special education and other appropriately qualified staff shall review and select research supported and evidence based training programs that at a minimum include:

  1. Prevention, intervention and restraint techniques that appropriate to the type of school setting and to the age and developmental level of students;
  2. Content and skills on the use of positive, instructional, preventive methods for addressing student behavior;
  3. Positive behavioral interventions and supports including techniques of conflict prevention and de-escalation, conflict management, and evaluation of risks of challenging behavior, as well as alternatives to physical restraint;
  4. Information about the physiological and psychological effect, impact and risks inherent in any physical intervention;
  5. Current professionally accepted practices and standards regarding behavior management and use of physical restraint;
  6. Multiple methods for monitoring a student’s well-being during a restraint;
  7. Instruction on first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of an emergency related to restraint.

Notification and Documentation

  1. The parent or guardian of a student shall be immediately notified when physical restraint is used on the student. The 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 24 hours of the occurrence of the incident;
  2. A full written report of the incident of physical restraint shall be provided to the parent or guardian within 24 hours of the occurrence of the incident;
  3. The principal and the school nurse shall be notified immediately of any incident where physical restraint was used;
  4. The staff member reporting the use of the physical restraint shall complete a written report the same day as the incident that includes the time, date and location of the incident, individuals present during the incident and thorough description including:
  5. The circumstances leading up to the incident;
  6. The positive behavioral interventions, de-escalation techniques and all other preventative strategies used to prevent the use of physical restraint;
  7. The type of physical restraint techniques used in the circumstances;
  8. The duration of the restraint;
  9. Any observed behavior or reaction the student had during and at the conclusion of the incident.
  10. Other staff and students witnessing the incident may be required to provide a written description of the incident;
  11. All written documentation of the incident shall be maintained in the confidential student health record. Records regarding disciplinary consequences that may result from the investigation of the incident may be placed in the student’s school file.


  1. Definitions
  2. Elopement means leaving an assigned area without permission from, or knowledge of, staff;
  3. Wandering means meandering which results in a student leaving a safe environment, intruding into inappropriate places or becoming lost, often related to distraction.
  4. Procedures

To avoid and address instances of wandering and/or elopement, the following procedures shall apply:

  1. The individualized educational program (IEP) of students with known wandering and elopement behaviors shall specify detailed provisions for the supervision and monitoring of the student and the procedures for response and intervention;
  2. School staff members having any supervisory responsibilities over the student including teaching staff members, instructional and noninstructional aides, hall monitors, main entrance monitors, security staff and all other relevant staff members shall be alerted to the elopement and/or wandering behavior and instructed on intervention procedures as detailed in the student’s IEP.
  3. The coordinator of special education shall ensure that teaching staff members, instructional and noninstructional aides, hall monitors, security staff and all other staff members with student contact receive general education and training to address student supervision, wandering and elopement and proper responses. Training shall include:
  4. Supervisory notification and 911 calls;
  5. Communication protocols with local police;
  6. Use of school-wide communication and alert systems;
  7. Pre-assignments and procedures for building and ground searches;
  8. Procedures for assuring that crisis response and law enforcement officials have access to floor plans, blueprints, schematics or other maps of the school interior, school grounds and road maps of the immediate surrounding area;
  9. Protocols for immediate family notification;
  10. When a student has been identified as having wandering or elopement behaviors, consideration shall be given to the installment of door alarms and the use of other elopement warning devices as necessary and appropriate;
  11. Teaching staff members of students with known wandering and elopement behaviors shall ensure that the student carries basic identification at all times;
  12. School policy and procedures regarding elopement and wandering shall be distributed annually.

Adopted: September 24, 2018

Was this article helpful to you? No Yes

How can we help?