It is the policy of the Highline School Board that the district maintains a safe learning environment while treating all students with dignity and respect. All students in the district, including those who have an individualized education program (IEP) or a plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will remain free from unreasonable restraint, restraint devices, isolation, and other uses of physical force. It is expected that district staff use progressive discipline and that actions will be taken under this policy as a matter of last resort to ensure student and staff safety, as opposed to being used as a form of discipline or punishment.
If de-escalation interventions have failed or are inappropriate, district staff may use restraint or other forms of reasonable force when necessary to prevent or minimize imminent bodily injury to self or others. Restraint and other uses of physical force may be used to protect district property if de-escalation interventions have failed or are inappropriate.
Use of restraint or isolation, and other forms of reasonable force may be used on any student when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an “imminent likelihood of serious harm” as defined by RCW 70.96B.010 and explained in the procedure accompanying this policy. Staff will closely monitor such actions to prevent harm to the student and will use the minimum amount of restraint and isolation appropriate to protect the safety of students and staff. The restraint, isolation, and other forms of reasonable force will be immediately discontinued when the likelihood of serious harm has dissipated.
This policy is intended to address students enrolled in the district and not intended to prevent or limit the use of reasonable force or restraint as necessary with other adults or youth from outside the school as allowed by law.
In the case of the use of isolation, restraint, restraint devices or reasonable force, the principal or principal's designee must make a reasonable effort to verbally inform the student's parent or guardian within twenty-four hours of the incident, and must send written notification as soon as practical but postmarked no later than five business days after the restraint or isolation occurred. If the school customarily provides the parent or guardian with school-related information in a language other than English, the written report under this section must be provided to the parent or guardian in that language. The written report must also be sent to the Superintendent or designee for data tracking purposes.
The superintendent will annually report to the Board on actions taken pursuant to this policy. The superintendent or a designee will develop procedures to implement this policy
Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook
Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students - Policy 2161
Education of Students With Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Policy 2162
Use of Force — When lawful - RCW 9A.16.020
Use of Force on Children — Policy — Actions presumed unreasonable - RCW 9A.16.100
Corporal Punishment Prohibited - RCW 28A.150.300
Restraint of Students with IEPs or under Section 504 Plans - RCW 28A.600.485
Definitions - RCW 70.96B.010
Rules for the Provision of Special Education - Chapter 392-172A WAC
Discipline — Conditions and limitations - Chapter 392-400-235
Policy News, December 2008
Policy News, July 2013
Policy News, July Alert 2015
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: 1.14; 10.15