Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 1196
By: Truan
Public Education
Committee Report (Substituted)


A number of schools in Texas, including special education schools, use a
practice referred to as "seclusion" or "seclusionary time-out" to isolate
children exhibiting inappropriate behavior.  This technique isolates a
child in a space away from the rest of his or her class.  In the absence of
state guidelines, however, seclusionary practices have been used
inappropriately in some schools, and  incidents of children locked in
unlit, unventilated rooms have surfaced.  Inappropriate use of seclusion
can have detrimental effects on children, especially special education
students.  C.S.S.B. 1196 amends the Education Code to prohibit the
confinement of a student with a disability in a locked box, closet, or
other special room and prohibits a school district employee or volunteer
from placing a student in seclusion. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of education in
SECTION 1 (Section 37.0021, Education Code) and SECTION 3 of this bill. 


C.S.S.B. 1196 amends the Education Code to prohibit a student with a
disability from being confined in a locked box, closet, or other specially
designed space as either a discipline management practice or a behavior
management technique.  The bill prohibits a school district employee,
volunteer, or independent contractor of a district from placing any student
in seclusion.  The prohibition on seclusion does not apply to a facility
governed by the federal Children's Health Act of 2000, a local mental
health authority, or 24hour care licensing rules.  The bill requires the
commissioner by rule to adopt procedures by August 1, 2002, for the use of
restraint and time-out for a student receiving special education services,
and sets forth requirements for the procedures that must be adopted.  The
bill specifies that such a rule adopted by the commissioner will prevail if
it conflicts with a special education program rule.  The bill does not
prevent a student's locked, unattended confinement in an emergency
situation while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement personnel if the
student possesses a weapon and the confinement is necessary to prevent the
student from causing bodily harm to the student or another person. 


September 1, 2001.


C.S.S.B. 1196 differs from the original bill by changing the definition of
"seclusion" to mean a behavior management technique in which a student is
confined in a locked box, closet, or room that is designed solely to
seclude a person and contains less than 50, rather than 40, square feet of