What does imminent likelihood of serious harm mean?

Imminent means: likely to occur at any moment, or near at hand. Not distant or remote.

Likelihood of serious harm means: a substantial risk that a person will cause physical harm to themselves or another person, or substantial loss or damage to another person’s property. Evidence that there is a likelihood of serious harm might include: 

  • threats or attempts to commit suicide or harm themselves;
  • behavior that has physically harmed someone in the past, or makes a person reasonably fear they will be physically harmed;
  • behavior that has caused substantial damage in the past; or
  • a threat to someone else’s physical safety, if the person making the threat has a history of one or more violent acts. 

You can find definitions for “isolation,” “restraint” and “restraint device” in the Revised Code of Washington at RCW 28A.600.485, online at: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=28A.600.485.

You can find definitions for “imminent” and “likelihood of serious harm” in the state Special Education Regulations, in the Washington Administrative Code, at WAC 392-172A, at www.leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules.