Toolbox Tuesday: What will happen with physical restraint?

There are several bills making their way through the legislative process addressing the use of physical restraints and/or corporal punishment. It’s too early to know what will pass, but I am going to predict that HB 772 will not pass. It proposes a complete ban on corporal punishment in public schools. A bill like that is introduced every session, and generally does not get very far.

Given the reality of school shootings there is virtually zero chance of a complete ban on the use of physical restraint by trained school personnel, but there are continuing concerns over health risks to the students when a technique is not properly used. We may see some new restrictions on the use of certain methods of restraint and on the use of “chemical irritants.”

Regardless of what happens legislatively, the need for continual training on the proper use of restraints is imperative. The primary reason for training is to safeguard safety of students and staff, but there are also liability concerns. As we have reported in the Daily Dawg of late there have been several lawsuits equating physical restraint to a “seizure” as that term is used in the 4th Amendment, thus opening the door to potential individual liability.

If you want to keep up with this, check out SB 133, and HBs 133 and 459 along with the aforementioned HB 772.


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Tomorrow: speaking of corporal punishment…