Seclusion and Restraint

backs of desks and chairs in a classroom

Seclusion and Restraint practices can affect any child who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). Seclusion, also called isolation or timeout, is forced isolation in a room or space where the child cannot escape. Restraint occurs when a child is restrained either by another person or using restraints to stop movement and/or block the child’s ability to hear or see.

Although individual school districts make their own policies on the use of seclusion and restraint in classrooms, Disability Rights Wisconsin strives to ensure these practices are not taken advantage of. If you believe these practices are violating a child’s human or legal rights, they must be stopped. Disability Rights Wisconsin works to ensure that all individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin can have full access to their civil rights, human rights, and human dignity.


Disability Rights Wisconsin provides information, referral, advice, investigation, and, in select cases, legal representation to people with disabilities in Wisconsin who experience seclusion or restraint-based abuse or neglect. DRW also advocates at systems and policy levels to reduce abuse, neglect and rights violations and to ensure that existing systems meet their responsibilities to do the same.

Self-Advocacy Resources

Our self-advocacy resources have helpful guidance and further information on issues related to this topic. Learn more below:


Other places that may be able to help you:

  • Child Protective Services

    The goal of Child Protective Services (CPS system) is to support parents/caregivers in making necessary changes so children are safe and protected in their homes.

Learn More

You can find more information on this topic from these websites and publications:


Want to do more to help protect individuals with disabilities? Please visit our Take Action Page for some ideas and to sign up for news and other alerts from our website. Or Donate Now to help protect and advocate for the rights and futures of all Wisconsin citizens. We'd love to have you join us.

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