August 19, 2022 Special Education Update – New Law Regarding the Use of Restraints and Time Out Rooms
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to advise you that Governor Hochul has signed into law an amendment to the Education Law regarding the use of restraints and time out rooms.
The new law requires boards of education to develop a procedure to notify the parent or person in parental relation of a student with a disability on the same day that: (a) a physical or mechanical restraint is applied on the student; or (b) the student is placed in a time out room. This has long been viewed as best practice and is now a legal requirement.
If, after “reasonable attempts are made,” the school district is unable to contact the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school principal must record and report those attempts to the committee on special education (CSE).
The new law does not change the State’s regulations regarding the use of restraints or time out rooms. Unless certain conditions apply, the State continues to prohibit the use of aversive behavioral interventions to reduce or eliminate maladaptive behaviors (for example, the use of a physical or mechanical restraint). The State also continues to regulate the use of time out rooms, which are areas for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations in the classroom.
If you have any questions regarding the new legislation, drafting the new required procedure or the use of restraints or time out rooms, please contact Lauren Schnitzer or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
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