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Restraint and seclusion policy bill passes both chambers

The two chambers of the Capitol came together on a bill requiring school districts to adopt a restraint and seclusion policy to send it to the governor’s desk.


House members passed Senate Bill 46, which requires school districts to adopt a policy limiting the use of restraint and seclusion, on a 52-12 vote and the Senate on a 27-3 vote.


A conference committee made up of three legislators from each chamber convened to come to an agreement on the bill and added three amendments to it, including striking the requirement of immediate notification by the district to the parent or guardian when an incident occurs, permitting use of certain restraint techniques when reasonable and using seclusion there is clear and present danger.


“I think they’re appropriate modifications,” Rep. Timothy Johns told fellow Representatives during the bill’s debate on the House floor.


The bill sets three provisions that would be required within the school district policy, they include:

  • A procedure for notifying the parent or guardian of the student, unless the student is emancipated, of an incident requiring the use of restraint or seclusion;
  • A prohibition on the use of prone restraint, defined as physical pressure applied to any part of the student’s body to keep the student in a face down position on the floor or other surface, except when the use is necessary and reasonable in manner and moderate in degree; and
  • A prohibition on the use of involuntary confinement of a student locked alone in a room, unless there is a clear and present danger.

“I think it is a good start,” Sen. Troy Heinert said on the Senate floor. “It’s permissive legislation. (That’s) going to require districts to form a policy.”


ASBSD supports the bill as it heads to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for review and signature.


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