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3246P - Restraint Isolation and Other Uses of Reasonable Force Procedure


  • Physical Force: Any use of bodily force or physical restriction that substantially immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a student.
  • Chemical Spray: Pepper spray, OcSpray, or other similar chemicals that are used to control a student or limit a student’s freedom of movement.
  • Restraint: Physical intervention or force used to control a student, including the use of a restraint device. It does not include appropriate use of a prescribed medical, orthopedic or therapeutic device when used as intended, such as to achieve proper body position, balance or alignment or to permit a student to safely participate in activities.
  • Restraint Device: A device used to assist in controlling a student, including but not limited to metal handcuffs, plastic ties, ankle restraints, leather cuffs, other hospital-type restraints, pepper spray, tasers, or batons. “Restraint device” does not mean a seat harness or seatbelt used to safely transport students.
  • De-escalation: The use of positive interventions and other district-approved strategies to deescalate a student who has lost self-control, is non-compliant or is demonstrating unacceptable behavior. These strategies address behavior that is dangerous, disruptive or otherwise impedes the learning of a student or others.
  • Isolation: Restricting a student alone within a room or any other form of enclosure, from which the student may not leave. It does not include a student’s voluntary use of a quiet space for self-calming, or temporary removal of a student from their regular instructional area to an unlocked area for purposes of carrying out an appropriate positive behavior intervention plan. 
  • Imminent: The state or condition of being likely to occur at any moment or near at hand, rather than distant or remote.
  • Likelihood of serious harm: a substantial risk that physical harm will be inflicted by a student:
    • Upon their own person, as evidenced by threats or attempts to commit suicide or inflict physical harm on oneself;
    • Upon another, as evidenced by behavior that has caused such harm or that places another person or persons in reasonable fear of sustaining such harm;
    • Upon the property of others, as evidenced by behavior that has caused substantial loss or damage to the property of others; or
    • After the student has threatened the physical safety of another and has a history of one or more violent acts. 


  • Staff who engage in restraints will be trained and currently certified in a trauma-informed crisis management tool.

Appropriate Use of force

Restraint, isolation, or other forms of reasonable physical force (RPF) may be used:

  • To prevent or minimize imminent likelihood of serious harm to self or others, or if de-escalation or other positive interventions fail or are inappropriate to protect property from substantial loss or damage;
  • To obtain possession of a known or reasonably-suspected weapon or other dangerous object on a person or within the control of a person; and
  • As part of a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, provided that the student requires more specific advanced educational planning and the parent/guardian agrees to the use of these techniques in writing. 

Degree of force

  • Restraint, isolation, or other forms of RPF must not be continued if a determination is made by the staff member administering the restraint, isolation, or other forms of RPF that the student is no longer at risk of causing imminent bodily harm to himself/herself or others or property.
  • Restraint, isolation, or other forms of RPF must be administered in such a way so as to prevent or minimize physical harm to the student. If, at any time during the use of restraint, isolation, or other forms of RPF, the student demonstrates significant physical distress, the technique must be reduced immediately and, if necessary, school staff must take immediate steps to seek medical assistance.


An adult must continually monitor any student when restraint, isolation, or other forms of RPF are used. The monitoring must be conducted by direct observation of the student. Monitoring must include regularly evaluating the student for signs of physical distress.

Inappropriate Use of force:

Restraint, isolation or other forms of RPF will not be used:

  • As a form of discipline or punishment;
  • As an initial response to destruction of property, school disruption, refusal of student to comply with school rules or staff directive; or a verbal threat that does not constitute a threat of imminent bodily injury, unless other forms of de-escalation intervention fail or are inappropriate; and
  • As an intervention, if the school employee knows that the student has a health condition or physical condition and the condition or problem would be exacerbated by the use of such techniques.

Review of Incidences of Isolation, Restraint, or RPF

  • The incident must be reviewed with the student, as determined appropriate by certificated staff knowledgeable about the student and his or her disability, to address the behavior that precipitated the use of the technique and the appropriateness of the response;
  • The incident must be shared with the student's parent or guardian and may be reviewed with the student’s parent or guardian to address the behavior that precipitated the use of the technique and the appropriateness of the response; and
  • The involved staff member(s) and the building principal/designee must review whether proper procedures were followed and what staff training or support is needed to help the student avoid similar incidents.

Incident Report

Any school employee, school resource officer (SRO) or school security officer (SSO) who uses isolation, restraint or other form of RPF on a student during school-sponsored instruction or activities will inform the building administrator or a designee as soon as possible, and within two (2) school business days submit a written report of the incident to the district office. 

Such report must include:

  • The date and time of the incident;
  • The name and job title of the staff member who administered the restraint, RPF, or isolation;
  • A description of the activity that led to the restraint, RPF, or isolation;
  • The type of restraint, RPF, or isolation used on the student, including the duration;
  • Whether the student or staff was physically injured during the restraint, RPF, or isolation;
  • Any medical care provided; and
  • Any recommendations for changing the nature or availability of resources available to the student and staff members in order to avoid similar incidents.

Parental Notification

Following the use of isolation, restraint, or RPF with a student, the principal/designee shall make every reasonable effort to verbally inform the student’s parent or guardian of the incident within 24 hours; and must send the parent or guardian written notification of the incident as soon as practical but postmarked no later than five (5) school business days of the incident. The notification must be in the language customarily used by the school to provide the parent or guardian school-related information.

IEPs and Section 504 Plans will include the procedures for notification of parents or guardians regarding the use of restraint or isolation with their student.

Parents or guardians will be provided a copy of the Issaquah School District policy on the use of force, restraint, and isolation at the time IEP or 504 Plan is developed.

Annual Report

By January 1st annually, the district will summarize the written incident reports received under and submit the summaries to the office of the superintendent of public instruction. For each school, the district will include the number of individual incidents of restraint and isolation, the number of students involved in the incidents, the number of injuries to students and staff, and the types of restraint or isolation used.



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