OCR Resolves Restraint and Seclusion Compliance Review with Denton ISD

On April 11, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Denton Independent School District in Texas has entered into a resolution agreement to ensure that its restraint policies and practices do not deny students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

OCR’s review identified a number of concerns with the district’s compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) and their implementing regulations with respect to district restraint practices.

In particular, OCR’s review revealed that students ultimately identified as students with disabilities were restrained multiple times before the district initiated an evaluation to determine whether the students may need special education or related aids and services. OCR also identified concerns with the frequency and duration of student restraints.

Among other things, OCR’s review also revealed that the district permitted School Resource Officers (SROs) to restrain students with disabilities without having been properly trained on student restraint in educational settings or on the district’s obligations regarding the provision of FAPE to students with disabilities.

The letter to Denton Independent School District and the resolution agreement are available on the OCR website.

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