Examining Policies and Procedures for Restraint & Seclusion In NH Schools and Facilities

A project conducted by LEND Trainee Christina Giannopoulos in partnership with Disability Rights Center – NH.

Background Information

RSA 126-U is a state law that limits the use of restraint and seclusion of children by schools and by certain providers of residential services and treatment to children. It restricts the use of restraint and seclusion only to emergency situations when no other intervention will prevent the substantial and imminent risk of serious bodily harm to the child or someone else. More information about this law can be found in our Restraint and Seclusion in School flyer.

There are specific rules regarding the use of restraint and seclusion that apply to designated receiving facilities that provide psychiatric treatment to children and adults, such as New Hampshire Hospital. See our Restraint and Seclusion in Facilities flyer.  Medicaid law similarly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion on both adults and children in facilities that accept Medicaid.

RSA 126-U was amended during the 2023 legislative session.

Project Summary

For her LEND capstone project, Christina reviewed the restraint and seclusion policies and procedures from seven  schools and facilities throughout New Hampshire and compared them to the new legal requirements which took effect September 26th, 2023.

Christina chose to review the policies and procedures from three public schools, two private schools, and two residential placements/facilities, all of which had historically high rates of restraint and seclusion. Among other things, Christina found that all seven sites were out of compliance with 126-U.

Download Christina’s LEND Capstone Project Poster

Learn more about the LEND Program

About Christina Giannopoulos, MS, OTR/L, NH LEND

Christina Giannopoulos will receive her master’s of science degree in occupational therapy at the University of New Hampshire in in December 2023. She received a bachelor’s degree in health, wellness, and occupational studies with a minor in special education from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine in 2021. These degrees provided Christina with an ability to look at individuals through a holistic and inclusive lens.

Christina has a strong passion and background working with individuals with disabilities over the past 10 years. Throughout her high school and college years, she volunteered at several Special Olympics events, became a Challenger Baseball league coach, worked as a Direct Support Professional at a day program for adults and children, gained a best friend with Cerebral Palsy, and mentored children in the local elementary after school program. Christina’s experiences with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and a variety of other diagnoses, have opened her eyes to the special and unique qualities in everyone.

Christina thrives in environments where she can help individuals accomplish their goals and reach their full potential. These personal and professional experiences have led Christina to recognize the importance of working with an interprofessional team and advocating for the individuals with whom she works.


Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers for people with disabilities across New Hampshire. DRC is the federally designated protection and advocacy agency for New Hampshire and has authority under federal law to conduct investigations in cases of probable abuse or neglect.

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