Communication to Families Regarding Restraint and Seclusion Practice
See additional information on the Parent Information Session- DOJ Settlement Agreement/Compensatory Services
FCPS cooperated with an investigation led by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding restraint and seclusion practices. The investigation examined these practices over two and half school years beginning with school year 2017-18. The DOJ concluded that FCPS unnecessarily and repeatedly secluded and restrained students in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result of the findings from the DOJ investigation, FCPS entered into a Settlement Agreement between The United States Department of Justice and Frederick County Public Schools.
FCPS is committed to systemic changes for the betterment of our students. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are of highest priority to the school system. Seclusion is no longer a practice utilized in FCPS. It is prohibited on all FCPS property. Furthermore, physical restraint may not be used except in an emergency situation in which physical restraint is necessary to protect a student or other person from imminent, serious, physical harm after other less intrusive, nonphysical interventions have failed or been determined inappropriate. Under the settlement agreement, FCPS will take the following proactive steps to ensure that our practices regarding restraint do not discriminate against students with disabilities.
- Report all instances of restraint and evaluate whether they were justified. FCPS developed a secure electronic system that stores all physical restraint incident reports and revised policies regarding the appropriate implementation of physical restraint practices;
- Designate trained staff to collect and analyze restraint data and oversee the creation of appropriate behavior intervention plans;
- Deliver appropriate training and resources to help schools implement the agreement. FCPS will provide training to designated staff on the appropriate use of physical restraint, and provide annual training to all staff on the appropriate use of this practice.
- Offer counseling and compensatory education services as appropriate to students with disabilities who were subjected to restraint or seclusion. Individual letters will be distributed to impacted families;
- Hire an administrator to supervise school-based staff and ensure FCPS’s compliance with the agreement and Title II of the ADA as well as BCBAs/BCaBAs to serve at schools with self-contained classrooms.
- Create incentives for current employees to obtain special education and BCBA/BCaBA certification, and develop a multi-year plan to hire more staff with special education credentials.
- Develop a Complaint Process to facilitate any student, parent, guardian, staff member, or other individual to freely express concerns regarding the use of restraint, exclusion, and/or seclusion practices.
If you have questions or concerns regarding seclusion and restraint practices as it pertains to your child(ren), please contact The Office of Special Education at (301) 644-5281 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Process
Any student, parent, guardian, staff member, or other individual can freely express concerns regarding the use of Physical Restraint and/or Exclusion Practices. The complaint procedure is intended to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints related to Physical Restraint and/or Exclusion practices.
Complaints may be submitted orally or in writing by any student, parent, guardian, staff member, or other individual.
To make a written complaint, individuals can complete the Physical Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Form and submit the form through any of the following means:
- Hardcopy Form Submission (English Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Form, Spanish Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Form)
- Forms will be available at every school building in the front office.
- Once completed, the individual can insert it in a locked dropbox in the school’s front office. Dropbox completed forms will be sent to the Supervisor of Behavior Analysts.
- Digital Form Submission - Forms may be completed using the online form.
- Email Form Submission - Forms may be submitted by email to the Supervisor of Behavior Analysts at BCBA@fcps.org.
- Postal Mail Submission - Forms may be sent by U.S. Mail to:
Supervisor of Behavior Analysts, Office of Special Education
Frederick County Public Schools
191 South East Street
Frederick, MD 21701
To make an oral complaint, individuals can provide information through the following means:
- The FCPS Supervisor of Behavior Analysts may be contacted at (301) 644-5250. Individuals may speak directly with the FCPS Supervisor of Behavior Analysts. This person will investigate all complaints and follow up with the individual in working to resolve the concern.
- The Ombuds for Frederick County Public Schools may be contacted at (301) 696-6852. Individuals may speak directly with the FCPS Ombuds. The Ombuds will get information on your complaint and work with the Supervisor of Behavior Analysts and you to address and resolve the concern.
The Supervisor of Behavior Analysts will complete the following steps in order to promptly respond to complaints:
- Investigate all complaints, including requesting additional information from complainants and affected parties if necessary.
- The Supervisor will provide a written determination simultaneously to all parties no later than sixty (60) days from the receipt of the complaint.
Retaliation, harassment, or negative educational consequence is strictly prohibited against any complainant (or any member of their family) for filing the complaint or otherwise participating in the complaint process.
FCPS is committed to continuous process improvement. More importantly, we are dedicated to serving the whole child; academically, socially and emotionally. FCPS will continue to work closely with our community and the United States Department of Justice to improve practice, and design programs and strategies that support the diverse needs of our student population.