Awareness Training Toolkit for Emergency Seclusion and Physical Restraint

Colin Ripmaster's picture

Michigan's new laws restricting the use of seclusion and physical restraint in schools to only emergency use took effect earlier this month on August 1. There are many changes that school leaders need to be aware of, including the requirement for all staff who have regular contact with students to have completed "awareness training" before the start of the school year. MASSP has created an Awareness Training Toolkit, which has been approved by MDE, to help building administrators and their staff meet these new requirements.


The stated intent of the legislature (MCL 380.1 to 380.1852) is to ensure that local public schools, public school academies, intermediate school districts, and other public school entities adhere to a uniform policy regarding the use of seclusion and physical restraint. More specifically, the purpose of this policy is to:

  • Promote the care, safety, welfare, and security of the school community and the dignity of each pupil.
  • Encourage the use of proactive, effective, evidence- and research-based strategies and best practices to reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviors, eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint, and increase meaningful instructional time for all pupils.
  • Ensure that seclusion and physical restraint are used only as a last resort in an emergency situation and are subject to diligent assessment, monitoring, documentation, and reporting by trained personnel.
  • Clearly define the terms "seclusion," "restraint," "emergency seclusion," and "emergency physical restraint" and clearly state the procedures for the use of emergency seclusion and emergency physical restraint.

In an effort to fulfill this purpose, the legislature added training requirements in accordance with Michigan Department of Educator Guidelines to Section 380.1307g. These guidelines require a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy to implement a comprehensive training framework that includes awareness training for all school personnel who have regular contact with pupils and comprehensive training for key identified personnel.

Who Needs Awareness Training?

All school personnel who have regular contact with pupils are required to receive awareness training. This may include: teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, support staff, bus drivers, security personnel, cafeteria staff, substitute teachers, public school employees providing services at a non-public school, school volunteers, school board members, coaches, pre-service and intern teachers. (Source: MDE's FAQ for Emergency Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint)

Also included are those who "regularly and continuously work under contract." This is defined in section 1230 as any individual who works at school on a more than intermittent or sporadic basis as an owner or employee of an entity that has a contract with a school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school to provide food, custodial, transportation, counseling, or administrative services, or to provide instructional services to pupils or related and auxiliary services to special education pupils.

Awareness Training Toolkit

MASSP has created an MDE-approved toolkit that schools and districts may use free of charge to provide awareness training to all school personnel in several formats. These resources include:

  • Presentations that building/district leadership may use to facilitate training with their staff:
  • Narrated/recorded screencast that is ready for plug and play during a staff meeting or as a flipped learning training experience:
  • Handout (PDF) that accompanies the presentations and screencasts