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Seclusion and restraint data for 2022-23 now available

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today published information reported by Wisconsin public schools on incidents where seclusion and/or physical restraint was used during the 2022-23 school year.
Pursuant to 2019 Wisconsin Act 118, Wisconsin public schools submit a report containing information on the use of seclusion and restraint in schools to the DPI annually by Dec. 1. Though it is not a requirement, the DPI analyzes the reported data and works with schools as appropriate to identify root causes and provide additional supports and resources to limit these traumatic incidents.
“We want to help every student succeed in our schools, so we must make every effort to prevent the use of seclusion and restraint,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “We must remember each of these reported incidents represents a traumatic lived experience – both for a student and for school staff. As progress continues toward our goal of limiting these tactics, our schools need additional support to train and educate staff around trauma-informed practices to help address the unique behavioral needs of students.”
Statewide, schools in the 2022-23 school year reported 5,396 instances of seclusion and 6,366 instances where physical restraint was used – decreases of 8.7 percent and 8 percent from the 2021-22 school year, respectively. Among those instances, 1,868 students were involved in seclusion incidents, and 2,763 were involved in physical restraint instances. Data does not indicate whether incidents of seclusion and restraint occurred simultaneously. Students in elementary schools were involved in a higher percentage of instances of seclusion and/or physical restraint than other types of schools. In addition, students with individualized education programs (IEPs) were involved in instances at a higher rate than other students, comprising 80 percent of all seclusion incidents and 78 percent of all physical restraint incidents reported for the 2022-23 school year.
Seclusion and restraint data and DPI’s corresponding analysis can be found in a report available on the Wisconsin DPI’s seclusion and restraint webpage. Resources for practices supporting the reduction of seclusion and restraint are available in the report, as well as on the DPI’s seclusion and restraint webpage.
The 2022-23 school year is the fourth year this information has been compiled and reported to the DPI. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some Wisconsin schools shifting from in-person instruction to virtual instruction, the DPI urges caution when considering how incident rates have changed over time.
Additional information on seclusion and restraint, including school- and district-level data, can also be found on the DPI’s website.

Official Release