Maine's recently-enacted rules on Restraint and Seclusion (Chapter 33)
Chapter 33: Maine’s Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools
On July 1, 2012, changes to rules governing the use of restraint and seclusion in Maine schools went into effect. These rules, (05-071 C.M.R. ch. 33), which were developed through a collaborative process by a broad-based stakeholder group, defined physical restraint and seclusion as emergency interventions, limiting their use to situations of imminent risk of injury and harm. In approving these major substantive rule changes, the Legislature took significant steps to protect the health and safety of Maine students.
Just months after the new Chapter 33 went into effect, some are calling for significant changes. Before rushing to change Chapter 33, it is important to consider the following:
1) Chapter 33 was developed through the consensus based rulemaking process involving 16 organizations as well as parent representatives. This stakeholder group met 13 times for a total of 85 hours. Consensus was reached on more than 90 percent of the draft rule, which was largely adopted by the Department of Education and approved by the Legislature.
2) Unlike some states, Maine has not experienced the death of a child related to restraint in school; however, prior to adoption of the ! new rules, there were many stories in Maine of inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion that resulted in children being harmed.
3) The growing national consensus is that physical restraint and seclusion should only be used when a child’s behavior presents an imminent risk of injury or harm to themselves or others. There are two primary reasons for this: 1) restraint and seclusion can be dangerous to both the child and the adult(s) involved; and 2) there is no evidence that restraint and seclusion are effective in reducing the occurrence of the problem behaviors that often lead to their use. With the revisions to Chapter 33, Maine joined many other states in limiting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools to those situations involving the risk of injury or harm.
4) In some circumstances, the training provided to school staff about the new rules provided has been insufficient. Insufficient training, which has led to reports of problems with implementation, is not a sufficient reason to make additional changes to the rule. As indicated in the preceding chart, recent examples used in the press by some who seek changes to Chapter 33 reveal a lack of understanding about and training in the new rules.
The Public Hearing for the Emergency Resolve ordering Maine DOE to make changes to Chapter 33, Maine’s rules governing the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, has been scheduled. The bill is LD 243 and the text can be found at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0079&item....
PUBLIC HEARING: Wednesday, Fe! bruary 20, 2013, 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 202
(L.D. 243) Bill "Resolve, To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules Regarding Restraint of Students" (SP0079) (EMERGENCY) (Presented by Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin) (Cosponsored by Representative BLACK of Wilton, Senator LANGLEY of Hancock, Senator SHERMAN of Aroostook, Senator CUSHING of Penobscot, Senator BURNS of Washington, Senator KATZ of Kennebec, Senator MASON of Androscoggin, Senator HAMPER of Oxford, Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset)
Please note that 2/20/13 is during public school vacation week.
Below is a list of Ed Committee members and their email addresses.
Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs:
Sen Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland County) co-chair: mailto:SenRebecca.Millett@legislature.maine.gov
Sen Christopher Johnson (D-Lincoln County) mailto:email@example.com
Sen Brian Langley (! R-Hancock County) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay) co-chair mailto:email@example.com
Rep Mary Pennell Nelson (D-Falmouth) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) mailto:email@example.com
Rep Matthea Elisabeth Larsen Daughtry (D-Brunswick) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor) RepBrian.Hubbell@legislature.maine.gov
Rep Victoria Kornfield (D-Bangor) mailto:RepTori.Kornfield@legislature.maine.gov
Rep Peter Johnson (R-Greenville) mailto:email@example.com
Rep Joyce Maker (R-Calais) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Michael McClellan (R-Raymond) mailto:email@example.com
Rep Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Madonna Soctomah (Passamaquoddy Tribe) mailto:Sipayik@midmaine.co