Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
[under development] Regulations Governing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 750]
Action Promulgating new regulation governing seclusion & restraint in public elementary & secondary schools
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 4/19/2019
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4/18/19  8:48 pm
Commenter: Guy Stephens


Our family has been impacted by the use of seclusion and restraint practices.  My son is currently receiving home and hospital teaching due to an emotional crisis that followed the use of seclusion and restraint.  The impact is real and lasting.  We can and must do better for our childern.  Virginia needs to act now to protect the civil rights of childern with disabilities, minorities and boys who are disproportionately impacted by these aversive practices.  If you choose not to act now, Federal legistlation may force your compliance, be a leader and stand up for your childern.    

What do we know?  

  • We know that seclusion and restraint can lead to significant trauma, injury and even death.

  • We know that seclusion and restraint are reactive strategies not proactive solutions to address challenging behaviors.

  • We know that science does not show that seclusion and restraint are effective in behavioral modification.

  • We know that seclusions and restraint disproportionately impact children with disabilities, minorities and boys.

  • We know Congress is looking to re-introduce the “Keeping All Students Safe Act”, which would ban seclusion in schools across the nation.

What we need?

  • We need schools to understand the behavior is communication.

  • We need schools to manage challenging behaviors proactively.

  • We need schools to adopt policy and practices for solving challenging behaviors.

  • We need schools to change culture and practice in terms of interventions.

  • We need schools to provide appropropriate training for teachers and staff.

  • We need schools to be accountable and transparent to the communities they serve.

  • We need schools to ban seclusion in our schools.

Why is it important?

  • This issue is important because the school to prison pipeline is a real problem and aversive interventions such as seclusion and restraint contribute.

  • This issue is important because seclusion and restraint leads to trauma in students, teachers and staff.

  • This issue is important because children have died due to the use of physical restraint.

  • Simply put it’s the right thing to do and we need to take action.

There are better ways to address challenging behaviors to prevent or eliminate the need for seclusion and restraint, here are a couple recommendations for our schools:

  • Consider a trauma-informed, evidence-based, proactive approach, such as The Collaborative Proactive Solutions (CPS) Model.

  • Consider crisis based interventions that do not rely on restraint and seclusion, such as the Ukeru System developed by the Grafton Network.

  • Consider implementing restorative practices throughout our schools, this is an approach is gaining traction in education.

  • Consider implementing a positive behavior interventions and supports framework with fidelity in our schools.

  • Consider working with families in the community to understand their concerns and meet the needs of all the children in our schools.


Guy Stephens



CommentID: 71680