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Reasonable Restraint and Seclusion

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to providing safe environments for all students. Crisis intervention techniques are intended to de-escalate a student and utilize restraint and/or seclusion as a last resort. There are times when it becomes necessary for staff to use reasonable restraint and/or seclusion to protect a student from harming himself/herself or to protect others from perceived or actual harm. 

Persons employed by the district may, within the scope of their employment, including involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, use and apply such amount of force for such period of time as is reasonable and necessary to accomplish the following purposes:

  • the student's behavior presents an imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others; and
  • less restrictive interventions appear insufficient to mitigate the imminent danger of serious physical harm

If a restraint or seclusion technique is used on a student:

  • school employees shall maintain continuous visual observation and monitoring of the student while the restraint or seclusion technique is in use
  • the restraint or seclusion technique shall end when the student's behavior no longer presents an imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others
  • the restraint or seclusion technique shall be used only by school employees who are trained in the safe and effective use of restraint and seclusion techniques unless an emergency situation does not allow sufficient time to summon those trained school employees
  • the restraint technique employed shall not impede the student's ability to breathe or speak and
  • the restraint technique shall not be out of proportion to the student's age or physical condition 

The district shall establish reporting and documentation procedures for school communication to parent(s)/guardian(s) to be followed when a restraint or seclusion technique has been used on a student. The procedures shall include the following provisions:

  • a school employee shall provide the student's parent or guardian with written or oral notice on the same day that the incident occurred, unless circumstances prevent same-day notification. If the notice is not provided on the same day of the incident, notice shall be given within twenty-four hours after the incident
  • within a reasonable time following the incident, a school employee shall provide the student's parent or guardian with written documentation that includes information about any persons, locations or activities that may have triggered the behavior, if known, and specific information about the behavior and its precursors, the type of restraint or seclusion technique used and the duration of its use
  • schools shall review strategies used to address a student's dangerous behavior if use of restraint or seclusion techniques for an individual student has occurred two or more times during any 30-calendar-day period. The review shall include:
    • a review of the incidents in which restraint or seclusion techniques were used and an analysis of how future incidents may be avoided, including whether the student requires a functional behavioral assessment
    • a meeting of the student's individualized education program team, behavioral intervention plan team or student assistance team within two weeks of each use of restraint or seclusion after the second use within a 30-calendar-day period to provide recommendations for avoiding future incidents requiring the use of restraint or seclusion
    • strategies for successfully reintegrating a student who has been restrained or secluded back into the school or classroom environment

Schools shall report incidents of restraint and seclusion to the district in the appropriate data system.

District procedure for reasonable restraint and seclusion shall not be interpreted as addressing the conduct of law enforcement or first responders. Restraint devices, such as handcuffs and flex cuffs, may only be used by police officers and security staff trained and authorized by the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department.

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide assurances that it is in compliance with provisions of this procedural directive as required by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Administrative Position:

  • Chief of Human Resources & Legal Support
  • Associate Superintendent of Equity, Instruction, Innovation and Support
  • Associate Superintendent of Special Education

 Department Director:    

  • Executive Director of Employee Relations
  • Executive Director of Student Family and Community Supports 
  • Executive Director of Compliance, Special Education

References:            

Legal Cross Ref.:                                      

  • §22-5-4.12 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:                        

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:         

Forms Cross Ref:                                     

  • Detailed Report of Crisis Intervention

Introduced: November 8, 2017
Revised: October 18, 2019