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Dorn Releases Data on Restraint, Isolation of Students
This is the first year information was collected for all students

OLYMPIA — OCTOBER 19, 2016 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn today released data on the number of students and incidents in which students were either restrained or isolated.

The data are required to be collected and reported as part of Substitute House Bill 1240, which passed in 2015.

As defined in state law:

    "Isolation" means restricting the student alone within a room or any other form of enclosure, from which the student may not leave…

    "Restraint" means physical intervention or force used to control a student, including the use of a restraint device to restrict a student's freedom of movement…

“The federal government has required us to collect this data for special education for a number of years now,” Dorn said. “A few of those incidents have received public attention, so the Legislature asked us to expand what we collect so we can find out how often restraints and isolations are being done to all students. This was the first year that districts have had to collect that data.”

Dorn added that the data collected are related to safety and security but do not include discipline-related incidents.

Of the state’s 295 school districts, 217 sent data. “We’re pleased that we now have baseline data,” Dorn said, “although in the future, we hope to receive better participation from districts.”

Because of the timing of the bill’s enactment, the data collected for this year was from January to June 2016. The data show that:

  • 2,384 students were involved in 11,409 incidents requiring restraint, resulting in 227 injuries to students;
  • 1,441 students were involved in 8,706 incidents requiring isolation, resulting in 106 injuries to students;
  • 770 teacher were injured in incidents requiring restraint and 219 teachers were injured in incidents requiring isolation.

Districts were not required to report the type of injuries sustained, nor were they required to report information about students, such as their race, ethnicity or gender.

Districts also reported on the types of restraint and isolation used. Due to time and technical issues, though, the data were only available at the district level this year. In future years, data will be available by school. Also, future data will include an entire school year.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 11/1/2016

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