Seclusion, Restraint and Zero Tolerance Resources


Beginning on August 1, 2017, Michigan's Principals will be dealing with two significant changes in school law: a series of revisions to Michigan's Zero Tolerance statutes and new statutory requirements that govern the use of emergency use of seclusion and restraint. Because both sets of changes will require districts to conduct a thorough review of local policies and procedures, MASSP has compiled a variety of resources to help Principals in implementing any necessary changes at the building level.

Because of the unique needs of every school, there is not a right way to address the changes, but the information below should give building administrators a head start on understanding, adjusting to and explaining the new requirements.

(Click the links below to be taken to each specific section of resources.)

Zero Tolerance Resources

Emergency Seclusion and Restraint Resources


Zero Tolerance Resources

While widely referred to as the new zero tolerance laws, this title is something of a misnomer since the intent of the revisions is to effectively eliminate zero tolerance policies and force local districts to consider mitigating factors such as the student's age and disciplinary history when suspension or expulsion are on the table. These changes mean that districts will likely need to review their student discipline policies and procedures and revise documents like discipline forms and student codes of conduct. We hope the following resources will be helpful in that effort:

  • MASSP Zero Tolerance Quick Reference Guide - a one page quick reference for Principals to use in implementing the new laws. It is not a comprehensive review of every aspect of the changes, but covers key concepts and includes helpful checklists and an FAQ.
  • MASSP Model Student Handbook Service - an attorney drafted, regularly updated model that districts can adopt or adapt for local use.
  • MASSP Model Student Discipline Form - the new law requires that the district consider and document several things. This form incorporates the new requirements with the existing laws and gives districts a sample form they can use as a template.
  • MDE Restorative Justice Practices FAQ - part of MDE's "Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions Toolkit," this FAQ was designed by MDE to be a guide for school administrators on starting implementation of a restorative justice model.
  • Rethink Discipline Implementation - put together by the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan, this website is another compilation of resources (including resources on restorative practices), though Principals will want to review these third party materials carefully before using them.
  • Michigan's Zero Tolerance Statute - because sometimes you just need to know what the law actually says. Here are the relevant statutes:
    • MCL380.1308 - changes to Statewide School Safety Information Policy simplified reporting requirements
    • MCL380.1310 - makes mandatory expulsion for physical assault against another pupil subject to 7 factors
    • MCL380.1310b - requires districts incorporate restorative practices into school bullying policy
    • MCL380.1310c - new law defines "restorative practices" and encourages their use by districts
    • MCL380.1310d - the main change, this new law enumerates the 7 factors and establishes a rebuttable presumption against suspension over 10 days
    • MCL380.1311 - makes mandatory expulsion for a dangerous weapon EXCEPT FIREARMS subject to 7 factors; creates rebuttable presumption for firearms
    • MCL380.1311a - makes mandatory suspension/expulsion for physical or verbal assault against a school employees or a bomb threat subject to 7 factors

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Seclusion and Restraint Resources

Despite the name, the intended purpose of Michigan's new laws is to provide a uniform policy that encourages the use of proactive and effective strategies to reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviors, eliminate the use to seclusion and restraint, and increase meaningful instructional time. For most building administrators, we hope that any situations that necessitate the use of emergency seclusion or emergency restraint are rare, but it's important to be prepared.

  • MASSP Seclusion and Restraint Quick Reference Guide - a one-page quick reference for Principals to use in implementing the new laws. It is not a comprehensive review of every aspect of the changes, but covers key concepts and includes helpful checklists and an FAQ.
  • MASSP Seclusion and Restraint Awareness Training Toolkit - plug and play resources for Principals to use to cover required Awareness Training with all staff who have regular contact with students.
  • Michigan Department of Education Policy for the Emergency Use of Seclusion and Restraint - Approved by the State Board of Education on March14, 2017, this policy is the law of the land for implementing the new laws. A further guidance document is expected out in July 2017.
  • CPI Crosswalk: Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training and new Michigan Law - for those districts that use CPI training for their crisis intervention teams and are wondering how that training addresses the needs of the new law.
  • MASSP Model Student Handbook Service - an attorney drafted, regularly updated model that districts can adopt or adapt for local use.
  • Michigan's Seclusion and Restraint Statute - because sometimes you just need to know what the law actually says. Here are the relevant statutes:
    • MCL 380.1307- largely non-binding language establishing the intent of the new laws
    • MCL 380.1307a - requires the State Board to create a model policy on and local districts to adopt a local policy that is consistent with the state model
    • MCL 380.1307b - creates a clear list of prohibited practices, including using seclusion or restraint in non-emergency situations
    • MCL 380.1307c - establishes limitations, including time limits, on the use of emergency seclusion and emergency physical restraint
    • MCL 380.1307d - creates documentation requirements
    • MCL 380.1307e - establishes the requirements for emergency intervention plans
    • MCL 380.1307f - creates new reporting requirements
    • MCL 380.1307g - training requirements
    • MCL 380.1307h - the definitions section, which contains most of the exceptions to these laws; see especially the definitions of restraint, emergency restraint, seclusion, and emergency seclusion

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