Notice of Proposed Rule Change: Chapter 33, Physical Restraint and Seclusion


Summary: The Maine Department of Education is proposing to adopt a comprehensive revision of a department rule, Chapter 33, relating to restraint and seclusion of students.

The Department of Education is proposing to adopt a comprehensive revision of a department rule, Chapter 33.  The current title of Chapter 33 is “Regulations Governing Timeout Rooms, Therapeutic Restraints and Aversives in Public Schools and Approved Private Schools.”  The revision of the rule includes a change of the title of the rule to “Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion.”

A summary of the rule, the public hearing date, time and place, and the comment deadline are as follows:

This proposed rule replaces the existing Chapter 33.  The rule establishes standards and procedures for the use of physical restraint and seclusion of students in educational programs funded by the Department of Education.

Physical restraint and seclusion may only be used as an emergency intervention when the behavior of a student presents an imminent 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 the Department of Education, notification of parents, response to multiple incidents of restraint or seclusion of a student, local and state complaint processes, and Department approval of training programs.

The proposed rule is available online at:

Hard copies may be obtained by contacting Deborah Friedman, Director, Policy and Programs, at the Maine Department of Education at 207-624-6620 or by email at

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 500 of the Cross State Office Building, 5th Floor, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine.

Written comments may be submitted via email to or via mail to:

Deborah Friedman, Director, Policy and Programs
Maine Department of Education
State House Station #23
Augusta, Maine 04333-0023

WRITTEN COMMENT DEADLINE: Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, at 5 p.m.

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