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District School Board of Niagara
Policy School Operations

G-13 Use of Physical Intervention with Students

Date Feb 2020
Review Feb 2025

It is the policy of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to foster and maintain a safe environment for its students, staff and community through the implementation of effective measures to ensure safety in schools. Recognizing early warning signs and intervening appropriately can often diffuse a situation before it becomes serious. Every student should feel supported by a safe learning environment that proactively provides classroom strategies for self-regulation and pro-social behaviours.

The DSBN recognizes that some students display a level of behaviour which is not always controllable or alterable by the use of standard classroom management/supervision techniques. Therefore, the use of physical intervention techniques may be required where proactive, positive practices and corrective, supportive practices have not been successful. Physical intervention may be necessary to achieve a productive resolution of the behaviour difficulties and to ensure the safety of students. These techniques include the use of physical contact to a greater extent than would normally be employed, and physical restraint where concerns for the safety of students and staff justify its use. Physical restraint is a procedure used when there is a concern that a student may suffer personal injury or injure others. The DSBN expects staff to limit its use of physical restraint to those situations which are not resolvable by other classroom management techniques.

The District School board of Niagara works closely with a third-party provider to ensure staff have positive proactive strategies to support students in difficult situations. De-escalation techniques, and a supportive approach are thoroughly explored and expected, with physical intervention techniques being used only if necessary, to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Non-violent Crisis Intervention training (NVCI) is provided to staff regularly to ensure they have access to the most up to date strategies and practices in de-escalation.

The DSBN supports the use of instructional, classroom management and supervision techniques which are designed to promote attitudes that develop the skills and knowledge necessary to foster and maintain healthy relationships. Preventative intervention, positive reinforcement of desired behaviours, and the development of social skills and conflict resolution strategies are considered the most useful tools for promoting positive growth and development.

The use of the interventions outlined in this Policy reflects the philosophy that the primary purpose of such intervention is for all students to acquire positive skills and attitudes and to ensure the care, well-being, safety and dignity of students and staff.