Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 750. Regulations Governing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Virginia
4/18/2024

8VAC20-750-10. Definitions related to permitted and prohibited actions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Aversive stimuli" means interventions that are intended to induce pain or discomfort to a student for the purposes of punishing the student or eliminating or reducing maladaptive behaviors, such as:

1. Noxious odors and tastes;

2. Water and other mists or sprays;

3. Blasts of air;

4. Corporal punishment as defined in § 22.1-279.1 of the Code of Virginia;

5. Verbal and mental abuse;

6. Forced exercise when:

a. The student's behavior is related to the student's disability;

b. The exercise would have a harmful effect on the student's health; or

c. The student's disability prevents participation in such activities; or

7. Deprivation of necessities, including:

a. Food and liquid at a time it is customarily served;

b. Medication; or

c. Use of the restroom.

"Corporal punishment" means the infliction of, or causing the infliction of, physical pain on a student as a means of discipline.

"Mechanical restraint" means the use of any material, device, or equipment to restrict a student's freedom of movement. The term "mechanical restraint" does not include the devices implemented by trained school personnel or used by a student that have been prescribed by an appropriate medical or related service professional and are used with parental consent and for the specific and approved purposes for which such devices were designed, such as:

1. Adaptive devices or mechanical supports used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without the use of such devices or mechanical supports;

2. Vehicle restraints, including seat belts, when used as intended during the transport of a student in a moving vehicle;

3. Restraints for medical immobilization;

4. Orthopedically prescribed devices that permit a student to participate in activities without risk of harm; or

5. High chairs and feeding stations used for age or developmentally appropriate students.

"Pharmacological restraint" means a drug or medication used on a student to control behavior or restrict freedom of movement that is not (i) prescribed by a licensed physician or other qualified health professional under the scope of the professional's authority for the standard treatment of a student's medical or psychiatric condition and (ii) administered as prescribed by a licensed physician or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority.

"Physical restraint" means a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move freely. The term "physical restraint" does not include (i) briefly holding a student to calm or comfort the student; (ii) holding a student's hand or arm to escort the student safely from one area to another; or (iii) the use of incidental, minor, or reasonable physical contact or other actions designed to maintain order and control.

"Restraint" means mechanical restraint, physical restraint, or pharmacological restraint.

"Seclusion" means the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. Provided that no such room or space is locked, the term "seclusion" does not include (i) time-out, as defined in this chapter; (ii) in-school suspension; (iii) detention; (iv) student-requested breaks in a different location in the room or in a separate room; (v) removal of a student for a short period of time from the room or a separate area of the room to provide the student with an opportunity to regain self-control, so long as the student is in a setting from which the student is not physically prevented from leaving; (vi) removal of a student for disruptive behavior from a classroom by the teacher as provided in § 22.1-276.2 of the Code of Virginia; or (vii) confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving during the investigation and questioning of the student by school personnel regarding the student's knowledge of or participation in events constituting a violation of the code of student conduct, such as a physical altercation, or an incident involving drugs or weapons.

"Time-out" means a behavioral intervention in which the student is temporarily removed from the learning activity but in which the student is not confined.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 24, eff. January 1, 2021.

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