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The ATPE Podcast: New Physical Restraint Legislation

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 9/12/2023

In June, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 133. This new law prohibits the physical restraint of public school students by peace officers and school security personnel under certain circumstances.

So what is meant by the phrase “physical restraint”? In this context, physical restraint involves an emergency situation where physical interaction is a last resort. Texas law defines “restraint” as the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body.

Physical restraint is an issue that has long been discussed in the Legislature, and it has largely become an issue that focuses on concerns from the special education community. How could this new legislation affect your classroom, and how will lawmakers handle this issue moving forward? 

In this episode of The ATPE Podcast, ATPE Managing Attorney Lance Cain and ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter break down both the legal and legislative sides of a new law regarding the physical restraint of students in the classroom.

The legal information provided here is accurate as of the date of publication. It is provided here for informative purposes only. Individual legal situations vary greatly, and readers needing individual legal advice should consult directly with an attorney. Please note: Rights based on the Texas Education Code may not apply to all. Many Texas Education Code provisions do not apply to public charter schools, and public school districts may have opted out of individual provisions through a District of Innovation plan. Eligible ATPE members may contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department.