Standards for the use of ESI

Emergency safety interventions law sets forth standards for the use of restraint and seclusion to ensure that all Kansas students and staff have a safe learning environment. The standards found in the emergency safety intervention statutes and regulations are required to be followed in all Kansas public school districts and accredited private schools.

An emergency safety intervention is the use of seclusion or physical restraint. The use of an emergency safety intervention shall cease as soon as the immediate danger of physical harm and violent action ceases to exist.

Before using an emergency safety intervention, a school employee witnessing the student’s behavior must have determined that less restrictive alternatives to emergency safety interventions, such as positive behavior interventions support, were inappropriate or ineffective under the circumstances.

An emergency safety intervention shall be used only when a student presents a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm to such student or others with the present ability to effect such physical harm. Violent action that is destructive of property may necessitate the use of an emergency safety intervention if there is a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm. An emergency safety intervention may not be used for purposes of discipline, punishment, or for the convenience of a school employee.

Physical restraint means bodily force used to substantially limit a student’s movement. Physical restraint is NOT:

  • Consensual, solicited or unintentional contact and contact to provide comfort, assistance or instruction;

  • physical escort;

  • prescribed treatments for a student’s medical or psychiatric condition by a person appropriately licensed to issue these treatments;

  • protective or stabilizing devices either ordered by an appropriately licensed professional or required by law;

  • any device used by a law enforcement officer in carrying out law enforcement duties; and

  • seatbelts and any other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation.

Prohibited types of restraints:

  • Prone, or face-down, physical restraint;

  • supine, or face-up, physical restraint;

  • any physical restraint that obstructs the airway of a student;

  • any physical restraint that impacts a student’s primary mode of communication;

  • chemical restraint (‘‘chemical restraint’’ means the use of medication to control a student’s violent physical behavior or restrict a student’s freedom of movement.); and

  • mechanical restraint (‘‘mechanical restraint’’ means any device or object used to limit a student’s movement).

Seclusion means placement of a student in a location where:

  • The student is placed in an enclosed area by school personnel;

  • the student is purposefully isolated from adults and peers; and

  • the student is prevented from leaving, or the student reasonably believes that such student will be prevented from leaving, the enclosed area.

An emergency safety intervention may not be used with a student if the student is known to have a medical condition that could put the student in mental or physical danger as a result of the use of an emergency safety intervention unless not using an emergency safety intervention would result in significant physical harm to the student or others. The medical condition must be indicated in a written statement from the student’s licensed health care provider, and a copy of which shall be provided to the school and placed in the student’s file.

When a student is placed in seclusion, a school employee shall be able to see and hear the student at all times.

If a seclusion room has a locking door it must be designed to ensure that the lock automatically disengages when the school employee viewing the student walks away from the seclusion room, or in cases of emergency, such as fire or severe weather.

A seclusion room must be a safe place. The room must have good ventilation and lighting, and be free of any condition that could be a danger to the student. The room must also be similar to other rooms where students frequent.

Seclusion is not time-out, which is a behavioral intervention in which a student is temporarily removed from a learning activity without being confined. (Information from KSDE)