Fairfax County School Board Approves New Policy on Restraint and Seclusion

December 18, 2020

The Fairfax County School Board has approved a new policy on Restraint and Seclusion, effective immediately. The policy was developed using Virginia regulation 8VAC20-750, Regulations Governing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Virginia, as a baseline, and was created to address the use of physical restraint and seclusion in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in instances where there is imminent risk of serious physical harm to self or others.  

“The new policy includes not only five components required by the state, but additional requirements that we believe are necessary to maintain the rights of our students and to ensure their safety,” said School Board Chair Ricardy Anderson.

The policy includes strategies that incorporate positive behavioral interventions and support consistent with the student's rights to be treated with dignity and to be free from abuse, including alternatives to physical restraint and seclusion. Continued use of positive behavioral interventions and support strategies will be used to reduce and prevent the need for the use of physical restraint and seclusion. If behaviors need intervention to keep students and staff safe, the policy dictates that the least restrictive intervention will be used.  

Seclusion is prohibited in all FCPS schools with the exception of Burke School, Key Center, and Kilmer Center effective January 1, 2021. Only personnel who have completed advanced training will be permitted to engage in seclusion.

Effective with the start of the 2022-23 school year, seclusion will be prohibited at all FCPS schools.