SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17109
BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT POLICY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Board acknowledges that conduct is closely related to learning and that an effective instructional program requires a caring and orderly school environment free from restrictions or injuries caused by the challenging behaviors of others.
To maintain a quality learning environment, students enrolled in special education programs are subject to the same policies and regulations that govern general education students. These policies are explained in student handbooks and outlined in building procedures. The Board shall require each special education student to adhere to the rules and regulations promulgated by the administration and to submit to such disciplinary measures as are appropriately assigned for any infraction of those rules. The rules govern student conduct in school activities and during the time spent in travel to and from school-related activities. Such rules require that students:
Conform to reasonable standards of socially accepted behavior,
Respect the rights, person, and property of others,
Preserve the degree of order necessary to the educational program in which they are engaged, and
Obey constituted authority and respond appropriately to those who hold that authority.
Prior to the placement of their child in a special education program, parents or guardians are to be notified of the requirement for conformity to the District’s policies and procedures that govern all general education students and special education students.
If a student’s behavior interferes significantly with his learning or that of others, a Positive Behavior Support Program (PBSP) will be incorporated into the child’s Individualized Educational Program. The PBSP will be developed by the IEP team in conjunction with accepted Positive Behavior Management procedures. Prior to the use of more intrusive or restraining measures, positive techniques for the development, change and maintenance of behavior shall be attempted.
Positive rather than negative measures must form the basis of PBSPs to ensure that all students and eligible young children shall be free from demeaning treatment, the use of aversive techniques, and the unreasonable use of restraints. PBSPs must include research-based practices and techniques to develop and maintain skills that will enhance an individual student’s or eligible young child’s opportunity for learning and self-fulfillment. PBSPs must be based on a functional assessment of behavior and utilize positive behavior techniques. When an intervention is needed to address problem behaviors, the types of intervention chosen for a particular student or eligible young child shall be in accordance with Chapter 14 of the state regulations.
The use of restraints to control the aggressive behavior of an individual student or eligible young child shall cause the school entity to notify the parent of the use of restraint and shall cause a meeting of the IEP team within ten (10) school days of the inappropriate behavior causing the use of restraints unless the parent, after written notice, agrees in writing to waive the meeting. At that meeting, the IEP team shall consider whether the student or eligible young child needs a functional behavioral assessment, reevaluation, a new or revised PBSP, or a change of placement to address the inappropriate behavior.
(The use of restraints may not be included in the IEP for the convenience of staff, as a substitute for an educational program, or employed as punishment.) The use of restraints may only be included in a student’s or eligible young child’s IEP when the following conditions apply:
The restrain is utilized with specific component elements of positive behavior support.
The restraint is used in conjunction with the teaching of socially acceptable alternative skills to replace problem behavior.
Staff is authorized to use the procedure and have received the staff training required.
There is a plan in place for eliminating the use of restraint through the application of positive behavior support.
The use of prone restraints is prohibited in educational programs. Prone restraints are those in which a student or eligible young child is held face down on the floor.
School entities shall maintain and report data on the use of restraints as prescribed by the Secretary of Education. The report shall be reviewed during cyclical compliance monitoring conducted by the Department of Education.
Mechanical restraints which are used to control involuntary movement or lack of muscular control of students when due to organic causes or conditions may be employed only when specified by an IEP and as determined by the student’s parents. Mechanical restraints shall prevent a student from injuring himself or another or to promote normative body positioning and physical functioning.
The following aversive techniques of handling behavior are considered inappropriate and may not be used:
Punishment for a manifestation of a student’s disability,
Locked rooms, locked boxes, other locked structures or spaces from which the student cannot readily exit,
Deprivation of basic human rights, such as withholding meals, water, or fresh air,
Suspension constituting a pattern under 22 PA Code 14.143 (A),
Treatment of a demeaning nature,
Methods implemented by untrained personnel,
Methods which have not been outlined in the agency’s (school district’s) plan.
If a behavioral problem is such that it can not be adequately addressed through prescribed procedures of PBSP, suspension from school, or other available disciplinary means, the IEP Planning Team shall determine the appropriateness of change in placement for the student. In such cases, the due process procedures will be promptly initiated for the purpose of appropriately changing the student’s placement.
Whenever the conduct of a student is such as to endanger the life, health, or safety of other students or school personnel or when school personnel have been required to resort to measures of self-defense, the school authorities shall implement procedures, as appropriate, which may include contacting local authorities, local agencies, and legal counsel. Subsequent to all referrals to law enforcement for students with disabilities who have PBSPs an updated functional behavior assessment and positive behavior support plan shall be required. Approval to notify law enforcement of the student’s disability and IEP shall be obtained from the parent/guardian prior to releasing the student into the custody of law enforcement. Procedural safeguards will also be given to the parent/guardian.
No teacher or employee of the Susquehanna Township School District shall be required to keep in a school room or on school property a student whose presence constitutes an unreasonable threat to the personal safety of the employee or other students as determined by the Susquehanna Township School District administration and IEP planning team.
When such circumstances exist, the student shall be removed from school in accordance with the procedures referred to above. If the school authorities are confronted with circumstances presenting such dangers that are not clearly covered by the procedures outlined above, the suspension or other exclusion of the student shall be effected immediately.
Teachers and other employees of this Board having authority over students shall have the authority to take such reasonable actions as may be necessary to control the disorderly conduct of students in all situations and in all places where such students are within the jurisdiction of this Board and when such conduct interferes with the educational program of the school or threatens the health and safety of others. Reasonable force may be used to quell a disturbance, to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects in self-defense, and to protect the person or property.
The Susquehanna Township School District shall make provisions for the training of all appropriate staff in the use of specific procedures, methods and techniques for PBSP, the management of physically aggressive behavior, and use of restraints. The Susquehanna Township School District shall further ensure that parental consent is obtained prior to the use of restraints or intrusive procedures.
Approved by the School Board - December 8, 2002
Amended by the School Board - February 8, 2005
Amended by the School Board - September 25, 2006
Amended by the School Board – February 22, 2010