New law addresses behavioral health interventions

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New Law Addresses Behavioral Health Interventions – Maryland State Education Association


behavioral health intervention in public schools and limits the use of physical restraint except in certain circumstances. The definitions in the law are riddled with exceptions, making application […]”/>













A word from the legal team

A bill banning solitary confinement and limiting when restraints can be used in public schools became law this year. This law prohibits the use of seclusion as a behavioral health intervention in public schools and limits the use of physical restraint except in certain circumstances.

The definitions of the law are full of exceptions, which makes their application difficult. Isolation is defined as the confinement of a single student to a bedroom or other space that the student is physically restricted from leaving during school hours. This does not include a behavior intervention plan that requires the separation of a student by placing the student in an unlocked room from which the student is permitted to exit or in a separate location in a classroom. where the student is not physically restricted from going out.

Physical restraints can only be used in certain circumstances and must be monitored. After a student’s 10th incident of restraint, there should be a review and analysis of the behavioral health intervention regimen. Physical restraint is defined as a physical restriction that immobilizes a student or restricts a student’s ability to freely move their torso, arms, legs, or head. This expressly does not include a brief hold to calm or comfort a student, holding a student’s arm or hand to safely escort the student, moving a disruptive student who is unwilling to leave an area when others methods have proven unsuccessful or break up a fight.

Physical restraints are permitted to protect oneself or others from imminent serious physical harm when other, less intrusive, non-physical interventions have failed. More importantly, physical restraints can be used in order to maintain a safe educational environment for all.

The law took effect July 1, 2022. Local school systems should provide additional guidance during back-to-school events.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your UniServ manager.

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