Fairfax County Public Schools Settles Restraint & Seclusion Lawsuit

Nov 26, 2021 | Restraint & Seclusion

Fairfax County Public Schools has reached a settlement with the disability rights organizations and students who sued the school division for unlawful use of restraint and seclusion.

The lawsuit, Q.T., et al. v. Fairfax County School Board, No. 1:19-cv-1285 (E.D. Va.), was filed in October 2019. It alleged that FCPS violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pursuant to the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

As part of the settlement, FCPS agreed to ban seclusion, limit the use of physical restraint, and prohibit certain types of physical restraints that create a high risk of injury. FCPS agreed to retain an expert consultant to help the district implement positive behavioral interventions and supports and staff training. The settlement will also ensure that students who require them will have access to communication supports, such as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.