Legislative bodies are increasingly considering new laws which would require all school districts to establish a district-wide use of force policy. Additionally, districts would be required to establish training standards and requirements relative to the use of force and physical restraint by school building administrators and other school security personnel. Although this legislation did not pass, the need for policies and training plans is clearly obvious no matter which type of program you provide.
Are you protected with a Use of Force Policy?
Let's say you have an incident involving physical intervention and something goes wrong. Any ensuing investigation will examine your program's policy on crisis intervention strategies, the use of force and the adherence to established policies. Were they followed properly? Was the use of force justified?
Several years ago a district was the subject of a State investigation due to an incident in which the building principal, unfamiliar with a disruptive student’s behavioral intervention plan, handcuffed the student instead of following the plan. Or consider the school district that payed over $24K in legal fees to ensure they could fire a staff who kicked a student. Recent stories in the news have revealed numerous incidents in which staff have kept a personal supply of pepper spray and used it on students. Do you have established policies on the use of these items? Do all staff know these policies and related training requirements?
Policy Development Resources
In 2008, the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) was commissioned by the Washington State legislature to develop model policy and procedure for the use of restraint and physical intervention techniques in schools. A diverse workgroup was assembled which included lawmakers, school officials, security experts and community members. Steven Seiller from RIGHT RESPONSE also participated. Over a period of several months, this group worked through ethical, educational, legal and safety issues to develop a model policy and procedure related to intervention. WSSDA also prepared a comprehensive report to the legislature for review. These documents are provided here from education and example.
Download the sample policy for Use of Reasonable Force
Download the sample procedure for Use of Reasonable Force
Download the Use of Reasonable Force Task Force Report (full)
Download the Use of Reasonable Force Task Force Report (summary)
Use of Force Policy Development Guide
To support you with this proactive process, Service Alternatives Training Institute has created a model Use of Force Policy explaining the continuum of intervention taught in RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop as well as a Use of Force Policy Development Guide. The guide is being made available to you as a free service! The development of a use of force policy can be completed on an agency-wide basis as well as a program-wide basis.
Download the RIGHT RESPONSE Use of Force Policy
Download the Hospital Use of Force Policy Development Guide for Hospitals
Download the School Use of Force Policy Development Guide for Schools
Download the Use of Force Policy Development Guide for all other programs