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Preventing Restraint and Seclusion in Educational Settings


The Georgia Advocacy Office is investigating abuse, neglect, and deaths on a daily basis and working with people with disabilities, family members, schools, advocates, and the state to end the most harmful practices.

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) published a paper in January, 2009 reporting on the use of restraint and seclusion in educational settings. NDRN collected information from Protection and Advocacy organizations around the country, including the Georgia Advocacy Office. Many states have laws and regulations concerning the use of restraint and seclusion in educational settings. Georgia currently does not have any such regulations. The use of restraint and seclusion has led to psychological harm, physical harm, and even death. If you know of a student who is experiencing restraint and seclusion and would like to discuss the individual situation, please contact our Resource Advocacy Unit by calling 404.885.1234 or 800.527.2329 (both number are voice or TTY), via email at, or writing to Georgia Advocacy Office, Resource Advocacy Unit, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Suite 430, Decatur, GA 30030.


July 8, 2010 was a historic day for Georgia public school students, as the State Board of Education voted unanimously to enact Rule 160-5-1-.35 which prohibits the use of seclusion, prone restraint, mechanical restraint, and chemical restraint. The Rule limits the use of physical restraint to those situations involving imminent danger. Additionally, the Rule requires schools to notify parents within one school day that their child has been restrained. Before this historic vote, schools could restrain or seclude any student, at any time, for any reason.

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