Communication to Families Regarding Restraint and Seclusion Practice

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. In addition, FCPS firmly embraces the philosophy that restraint and seclusion techniques should only be used when all other less intrusive, non-physical interventions have been exhausted and the emergency situation is necessary to protect a student or another person from imminent, serious, physical harm.  While seclusion and restraint have been used as a last resort, limited intervention in our school system, FCPS will initiate further safeguards that reduce the use of restraint and stop the practice of seclusion.
FCPS cooperated with an investigation led by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding restraint and seclusion practices of students with disabilities. After several months, FCPS collaborated with the DOJ on a settlement. We would like to share details on how we will move forward. The Department of Justice's efforts with FCPS focused primarily on its specialized programs that support students with disabilities. A central focal point of these programs is to support the social and emotional needs of students who require more intense specialized instruction and support.  

As a result of the agreement reached with the DOJ and our desire to enhance our current practices, we have agreed on several next steps.  These steps include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Immediately discontinuing the use of seclusion;
  2. Ensuring that all staff involved in restraint are properly trained on its use;
  3. Hiring or reassigning Behavior Analysts to provide professional learning, review incident reports and debrief incidents when restraint is used, monitor and collect data to determine ongoing needs of students and staff based on trends;  
  4. Developing a secure electronic system that stores all physical restraint incident reports, and;
  5. Notifying families whose child(ren) have experienced seclusion and restraint to offer support and services due to the potential impact of restraint and seclusion.

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 design programs and strategies that support the diverse needs of our student population.
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

For additional Information:


Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Form

Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaints may be submitted orally or in writing by any student, parent, guardian, staff member, or other individual. To facilitate the filing of a written complaint, individuals can complete the Restraint and/or Exclusion Complaint Form. This complaint procedure is intended to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints related to restraint and/or exclusion practices in accordance with Regulation 400-44 Restraint and Exclusion Practices.