Download Adobe Reader

Reducing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

In this episode of Policy Matters:

Dr. Ryan is a nationally recognized expert in the development of postsecondary educational programs for young adults with intellectual disabilities, in addition to teaching students with emotional and behavioral disorders. His experience includes K-12 instruction in educational settings including resource and self-contained classrooms, special day schools, and a residential treatment center. Dr. Ryan has over 50 publications, and currently serves as editor of the journal Beyond Behavior.

Dr. Ryan will discuss the risks and dangers of applying seclusion and restraint as tools for managing disruptive and/or violent classroom episodes. The presentation will provide viewers with proven and effective alternatives that prevent and/or diffuse aggressive and disruptive classroom behavior while protecting the well-being and safety of the student, teacher, and classroom.

In Reducing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools, Dr. Ryan will:

  • Explain the use and misuse of seclusion and restraint, and the inherent risks faced by students and instructors when these methods are applied;
  • Introduce curriculum-based, relaxation-based, behavior support, and conflict de-escalation strategies that prevent and diffuse students’ aggressive behavior;
  • And provide resources to violence prevention programs specifically designed for schools.

Dr. Joe Ryan, Ph.DDr. Joe Ryan is Professor of Special Education and Associate Director of Research for the College of Education at Clemson University. He is also founder and director of ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone), a postsecondary transitional program that trains young adults with cognitive disabilities so that they can develop independent living and employment skills. Ryan earned his PhD in Special Education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln; his MSEd in Education from Old Dominion University; an MBA in Finance from the University of West Florida; an MSS in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; and his BSBA in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.


Seclusion and Restraint in Schools Policy Resources

Not on Internet:

Couvillon, M., Peterson, R., Ryan, J., Scheuermann, B. & Stegall, J. (May/June 2010). A review of crisis intervention training programs for schools. Teaching Exceptional Children, 5(4), 6-17.

Fogt, J. B., George, M. P., Kern, L., White, G. P., & George, N. L. (2008). Physical restraint of students with behavior disorders in day treatment and residential settings. Behavior Disorders, 34(1), 4–13.

Ryan, J. B., Peterson, R. L., Tetreault, G., & van der Hagen, E. (2008). Reducing the use of seclusion and restraint in a day school program. In M. A. Nunno, D. M. Day, & L. B. Bullard (Eds.), For our own safety: Examining the safety of high-risk interventions for children and young people (pp. 201–215). Arlington, VA: Child Welfare League of America.

Ryan, J. & Peterson, R.L. (2012). Regulatory governance of physical restraint in schools. Chapter 16 in J. Luiselli (Ed.). The Handbook of High-Risk Challenging Behaviors: Assessment and Intervention. The May Institute.

Peterson, R.L., Rozalski, M. & Ryan, F.B. (Editors). (2013). Physical restraint and seclusion in schools. Alexandria, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Stewart, D. (2011). How do the states regulate restraint and seclusion in public schools? A survey of the strengths and weaknesses in state laws. Hamline Law Review, 34; 531-589.

Scheuerman, B., Peterson, R.L., & Ryan, J.B. (2015). Professional Practice and Ethical Issues Related to Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools. Accepted for publication, Journal of Disability Policy.


Clemson University College of Education Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences Clemson TV Broadcast