Massachusetts regulations have been adopted to insure that students are free from unreasonable physical restraint (the use of bodily force to limit a student’s freedom of movement). Students may, in rare circumstances, require physical restraint when non-physical intervention would not be effective and the student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to self and/or others. Such physical restraint including prone restraint where permitted under 603 CMR 46.03 shall be considered an emergency procedure of the last resort and shall be prohibited except when a student is not responsive to verbal directives or when other lawful and less intrusive behavior interventions are deemed inappropriate. In such situations, a teacher or other employee or agent of the Hingham Public Schools may use only reasonable force to protect the student and/or others from serious or imminent harm. Except in situations where a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to self and/or others, only personnel who have received training pursuant to 603 CMR 46.03(2) or 603 CMR 46.03(3) shall administer physical restraint to students. The school principal and/or the trained staff person who had administered physical restraint will adhere to the physical restraint regulations outlined in 603 CMR 46.00 in terms of the proper administration of and reporting requirement regarding physical restraint, according to Procedure 2.5A.

The superintendent or his/her designee will be informed of any physical restraint that has resulted in physical injury or any physical restraint that has lasted longer than five minutes. A written report shall follow on the next school working day. The superintendent or his/her designee shall maintain records of any such report and provide same to the School Committee and, as required, to the Department of Education for any restraint that has lasted for longer than twenty minutes and/or that has resulted in serious injury, according to Procedure 2.5A.

Physical restraint is prohibited as a means of punishment or as a response to destruction of property, disruption of school order, a student’s refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious harm to the student or others.

603 CMR 46.00
2/11/02 // 1/10/05 // 10/26/15