Restraint and Seclusion

Important Update for Maine's Restraint and Seclusion Statute and Chapter 33 Rule

 

Current State of Chapter 33 Proposed Rule Change Through 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposed Rules & Rule Changes

In response to statute Sec.1. 20-A MRSA §4014"Use of seclusion and restraint" changes to the Chapter 33 Rule Governing Restraint and Seclusion were required for the Rule to be in line with the statute. Proposed changes were filed in Oct. 2021 and due to significant feedback during the public comment period, additional changes were made resulting in a second public comment period. Due to a shortened legislative session, the proposed changes were not able to be considered within the 130th session.

The MDOE will be refiling the proposed rule change in Dec. of 2022, so that it can be considered by the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee as early as possible in the 131st session.

What this means for schools in the 2022-23 school year:

While the proposed changes to the Chapter 33 Rule remain in the APA process, schools will continue to operate as they have this past year as the current Chapter 33 Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion remains in effect to the extent that it is not in conflict with the new statute. 

SAU's should examine their restraint and seclusion policies and practice to ensure they are in alignment with the statute.

The DOE will not be allowed to provide guidance related to the statute, or update the Chapter 33 Rule and existing resources, until the completion of the APA process. 

 

The Maine DOE’s rulemaking process infographic is available here.

Chapter 33

  • Rule Title:  Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion
  • Filing Agency: This is a rule of the Maine Department of Education
  • Action:  Proposed Rulemaking
  • The proposed changes to the Rule will be refiled in December of 2022 in order to be considered by the 131st legislative session
  • Proposed Chapter 33 Rule : Chapter 33 Proposed Targeted Language Definitions Refined 2.2022

Existing guidance and resources cannot be updated to be in alignment with statute Sec.1. 20-A MRSA §4014: "Use of seclusion and physical restraint until the completion of the APA process. The statute should be implemented to the extent that is possible, and the current Chapter 33 Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion remains in effect to the extent that it is not in conflict with the new statute

Chapter 33: Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion establishes standards and procedures for the use of physical restraint and seclusion. Physical restraint and seclusion may only be used as an emergency intervention when the behavior of a student presents a risk of injury or harm to the student or others. The rule sets forth permitted and prohibited uses of restraint and seclusion, required notification and documentation of incidents of restraint or seclusion, aggregate reporting of incidents to administrators and to the Maine DOE, notification to parents, response to multiple incidents of restraint or seclusion of a student, local and state complaint processes and Maine DOE approval of training programs.

Approved Training Programs 

Under Chapter 33, each covered entity shall ensure that a sufficient number of administrators or designees, general and special education staff, maintain certification in an approved training program. 

These programs have not been reviewed to align with §4014 Please use to the extent that they are not in conflict with the statute.

For training programs seeking approval from the Maine DOE

Information, Guidance, and FAQ

These resources have not been reviewed to align with §4014 Please use the information to the extent that it is not in conflict with the statute.

Contact

Bear Shea
Mental Health / School Counselor Specialist
Culture, Climate, Resilience Team Leader
(207) 441-7404
W.Bear.Shea@maine.gov