Texas Education Code

Sec. § 37.0023
Prohibited Aversive Techniques


In this section, “aversive technique” means a technique or intervention that is intended to reduce the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring by intentionally inflicting on a student significant physical or emotional discomfort or pain. The term includes a technique or intervention that:


is designed to or likely to cause physical pain, other than an intervention or technique permitted under Section 37.0011 (Use of Corporal Punishment);


notwithstanding Section 37.0011 (Use of Corporal Punishment), is designed to or likely to cause physical pain through the use of electric shock or any procedure that involves the use of pressure points or joint locks;


involves the directed release of a noxious, toxic, or otherwise unpleasant spray, mist, or substance near the student’s face;


denies adequate sleep, air, food, water, shelter, bedding, physical comfort, supervision, or access to a restroom facility;


ridicules or demeans the student in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning or mental health of the student or constitutes verbal abuse;


employs a device, material, or object that simultaneously immobilizes all four extremities, including any procedure that results in such immobilization known as prone or supine floor restraint;


impairs the student’s breathing, including any procedure that involves:


applying pressure to the student’s torso or neck; or


obstructing the student’s airway, including placing an object in, on, or over the student’s mouth or nose or placing a bag, cover, or mask over the student’s face;


restricts the student’s circulation;


secures the student to a stationary object while the student is in a sitting or standing position;


inhibits, reduces, or hinders the student’s ability to communicate;


involves the use of a chemical restraint;


constitutes a use of timeout that precludes the student from being able to be involved in and progress appropriately in the required curriculum and, if applicable, toward the annual goals included in the student’s individualized education program, including isolating the student by the use of physical barriers; or


except as provided by Subsection (c), deprives the student of the use of one or more of the student’s senses.


A school district or school district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a school district may not apply an aversive technique, or by authorization, order, or consent, cause an aversive technique to be applied, to a student.


Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(13), an aversive technique described by Subsection (a)(13) may be used if the technique is executed in a manner that:


does not cause the student discomfort or pain; or


complies with the student’s individualized education program or behavior intervention plan.


Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a teacher from removing a student from class under Section 37.002 (Removal by Teacher).


In adopting procedures under this section, the commissioner shall provide guidance to school district employees, volunteers, and independent contractors of school districts in avoiding a violation of Subsection (b).
Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 598 (S.B. 712), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2019.
Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1180 (H.B. 3630), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2019.

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021