5405 - Behavioral Intervention

Policy 5405 Behavioral Intervention title box

Section 1. Statement of Purpose

It is the policy of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District that students not be subjected to the unreasonable use of restrictive behavior interventions, and that there be a common understanding within the SVSU and its member Districts of appropriate interventions by District staff.

Section 2. Definitions

Planning Room.

A planning room is used to separate a student from others for the purpose of eliminating or at least reducing, the occurrence and/or intensity of harmful behavior or to enable the student to regain composure and return to class or other activity.

Physical restraint.

Physical restraint is the use of physical means by a trained staff member to prevent imminent harm to a student or other persons, or damage to property.

Mechanical or chemical restraint.

The SVSU and it member Districts prohibit the use of mechanical or chemical restraint for behavioral intervention.

Positive Behavior Intervention.

A positive behavior intervention is an approach to a student’s behavior designed to teach and support socially appropriate conduct and to enhance academic performance.

Functional Behavioral Assessment.

A functional behavioral assessment is an analysis of a student’s behavior patterns before, during, and after rule-breaking or other incident of inappropriate behavior for the purpose of guiding the development of a behavioral intervention plan.

Behavioral Intervention Plan.

A behavioral intervention plan prescribes strategies for dealing with a student’s behavior, and his or her overall school performance.

Section 3. Generally

Except with respect to documentation requirements set forth in Section ___6_ , when a student is the subject of an individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan addressing, among other things, responses to the student’s dangerous behavior, that plan shall take precedence over the guidelines set forth in this policy. A written explanation shall be contained within the IEP or Section 504 plan for any specific deviation from the requirements of this policy.

Section 4. Physical Restraint


The purpose of physical restraint is to provide for the care, welfare, safety, and security of all those involved in crisis situations and to reduce or eliminate imminent risk either of harm to a person or of damage to property.


Physical restraint may be used with a student only when there is imminent risk either of harm to the student or others or of property damage. Additionally, a reasonable and necessary force may be used to quell a disturbance or obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon the person of or within the control of the student, for the >purpose of personal safety, or for the protection of persons or property.

By trained staff.

Only staff trained in the proper use of physical restraint may apply it, unless no such staff member is available. The District will endeavor to provide training in best practice models such as Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) to an appropriate number of staff members in each school that includes instruction in (a) a continuum of prevention techniques; (b) a continuum of de-escalation techniques; (c) environmental management; (d) nationally recognized methods of physical management and restraint; and (e) appropriate documentation and notification procedures.


Physical restraint may be used only so long as is necessary for the student to compose him or herself. If the student’s behavior remains dangerous and continued use of physical restraint is ineffective, the principal or his or her designee shall contact the student’s parent(s) for assistance, or seek assistance from law enforcement or other emergency service personnel.


No physical restraint may be administered in such a way that the student is prevented from breathing or communicating, or that causes the student unnecessary pain.


To the extent practicable, physical restraint may not be used by any staff member except in the presence of another staff member.

Section 5. Pattern of Behavior

When a student’s IEP team or Section 504 team determines that, based upon a pattern of behavior, the use of a planning room or physical restraint is likely, the team shall consider ways to address the student’s behavior, including, where applicable, performing a functional behavioral assessment and formulating a behavioral intervention plan which will include the use of positive behavior interventions.

Section 6. Documentation and notification


The staff person involved in the restraint shall prepare a report of each use of physical restraint as soon as practicable, but in no event later than two school days after its use. The report shall be used to maintain data on the frequency and use of restrictive behavioral interventions, and include at least the following information:

a. Name of the student;
b. Date of events leading to use;
c. Location of events leading to use;
d. Description of events leading to use;
e. Description of the student’s behavior immediately prior to use;
f. Description of use;
g. Name of staff member(s) involved in use; and
h. Time and duration of use.

Documentation Review.

Annually, the CPI instructor and special education director will review all incident reports to assess the effectiveness of the interventions.


Of all parents.

Before the start of each school year, the school shall inform parents or guardians of all students about this policy.

Of a student’s parents.

Unless otherwise requested by a student’s parent(s) or guardian(s), the school shall take and document reasonable steps to notify them that the student has been subjected to use of a physical restraint, ideally on the same day but in no event later than two business days after such use.

Of administrator.

The report of each use of a physical restraint shall be submitted upon its preparation to the principal, special education director, and CPI instructor.

Policy 5405 warning and adoption dates