(2016, December) | Useful to Parent Centers for sharing with staff, students with disabilities, families, schools, and other stakeholders.

The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education has released a suite of resources on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. This suite includes the following:

Dear Colleague Letter on the Use of Restraint and Seclusion |  Provided as a PDF file (408 kb), the 24-page Dear Colleague Letter explains the limits that federal civil rights laws impose on the use of restraint and seclusion by public elementary and secondary school districts.

Fact Sheet: Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities |  This 2-page fact sheet offers additional information about the legal limitations on use of restraint or seclusion to assist school districts in meeting their obligations to students with disabilities. The fact sheet is organized as a question-and-answer document and is available online in a PDF format (163 kb), at:

Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document from 2012 | The Department’s resource document (issued in May 15, 2012) suggested best practices to prevent the use of restraint or seclusion, recommending that school districts never use physical restraint or seclusion for disciplinary purposes and never use mechanical restraint, and that trained school officials use physical restraint or seclusion only if a child’s behavior poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others. The 2012 resource document is 45 pages long and available online in a PDF format (1.6 MB), at:

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