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Physical Restraint and Timeout

Illinois State Legislature laws 105 ILCS 5/2-3.130 and Public Act 102-0339 limit the use of restraint and time out in Illinois schools, as well as require public schools to establish a committee to create an RTO Reduction Plan. According to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):

  • Time out” means a behavior management technique for the purpose of calming or de-escalation that involves the involuntary monitored separation of a student from classmates with a trained adult for part of the school day, only for a brief time, in a non-locked setting.
    • Time out does not include a student-initiated or student-requested break; a student-initiated or teacher-initiated sensory break, including a sensory room containing sensory tools to assist a student to calm and de-escalate; an in-school suspension or detention; or any other appropriate disciplinary measure, including a student's brief removal to the hallway or similar environment. 
  • "Physical restraint” or “restraint” means holding a student or otherwise restricting the student’s movements and includes only the use of specific, planned techniques.
    • Physical restraint or restraint does not include momentary periods of physical restriction by direct person-to-person contact without the aid of material or mechanical devices that are accomplished with limited force and that are designed to prevent a student from completing an act that would result in potential physical harm to himself, herself, or another person or damage to property.
    • “Momentary periods of physical restriction” are considered physical escorts under the definition provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Physical escort means a temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or back for the purpose of inducing a student who is acting out to walk to a safe location. 

District 63 has developed a Restraint and Time Out (RTO) Reduction Plan. Most student behaviors that do not contribute to a safe learning environment can be addressed via a school’s social-emotional learning; positive behavior intervention and support; anti-bullying and anti-harassment strategies; restorative justice frameworks; and/or other local district policy, procedures, and programs. Behavioral interventions in District 63 prioritize the strategies above to avoid the use of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint with students whenever possible.

  • When an RTO event occurs, parents are notified within 24 hours of that event and provided with the ISBE Parent Bill of Rights. 
  • A parent may request a meeting to discuss the RTO event within ten school days of the event. 
  • If a student has more than two RTO events within a 30-day window, the parent and school team will meet to develop an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) to specifically address the student's needs and alternative methods the team may use to de-escalate the student and avoid the use of RTO.

If a parent has a complaint regarding an RTO event involving their child, they may use the ISBE RTO complaint and investigation process, through which any parent or guardian, individual, organization, or advocate may file a signed written complaint with the State Superintendent alleging that a school district or other entity serving the child has violated 23 IAC 1.285. 

The complaint shall only be considered for review if the alleged violation took place no more than 12 months prior to the date the complaint is received.

For questions regarding East Maine School District's RTO Reduction Plan, please contact Ashema Hubbard, Assistant Director of Special Services.