Maine - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Regulation
Summary: 

State law requires districts to adopt policies limiting use of restraint and seclusion that include comprehensive student protections, including the provision of mandatory training for school personnel.

Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Summary: This rule 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 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.

Section 1. Policy and Purpose.

This rule establishes standards for the use of physical restraint and seclusion to provide for the safety of all individuals. 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.

Section 2. Definitions.

    1. Aversive procedure means the use of a substance or stimulus, intended to modify behavior, which the person administering it knows or should know is likely to cause physical and/or emotional trauma to a student, even when the substance or stimulus appears to be pleasant or neutral to others. Such substances and stimuli include but are not limited to: infliction of bodily pain, (e.g. hitting, pinching, slapping), water spray, noxious fumes, extreme physical exercise, costumes, or signs.
    1. Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a comprehensive plan for managing problem behavior by changing or removing contextual factors that trigger or maintain it, and by strengthening replacement skills.
    1. Chemical Restraint is the use of medication, including those administered PRN (as needed), given involuntarily to control student behavior.
    1. Covered Entity means an entity that owns, operates or controls a school or educational program that receives public funds from the Maine Department of Education including, but not limited to: public schools, public regional programs, public charter schools, private schools, publicly-supported private schools, special purpose private schools, Career and Technical Education schools, public pre-kindergarten, and Child Development Services (CDS).
    1. De-escalation is the use of behavior management techniques intended to cause a situation involving problem behavior of a student to become more controlled, calm and less dangerous, thus reducing the risk for injury or harm.
    1. Dangerous Behavior is behavior that presents a risk of injury or harm to a student or others.
    1. Emergency is a sudden, urgent occurrence, usually unexpected but sometimes anticipated, that requires immediate action.
    1. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is a school-based process that includes the parent and, as appropriate, the child, to determine why a child engages in challenging behaviors and how the behavior relates to the child’s environment.

Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 4 Local Policy; Notice to Parents.

1. Local Policy Required All covered entities shall have local policies, consistent with this rule, regarding the use of physical restraint and seclusion. Covered entities must also have a procedure available by which parents may submit a complaint regarding the use of physical restraint or seclusion on their child, based upon which the covered entity shall investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident complained of, make written findings and, where appropriate, determine to take corrective action.
Covered entities shall revise existing policies or develop policies consistent with this rule within 90 calendar days of the effective date of this rule.
2. Annual notification of rule and local policies Annually, each covered entity shall provide overview and awareness information to all staff, including contracted providers, regarding the content of this rule and any local policies or procedures related to the use of physical restraint and seclusion.

Each covered entity shall provide an annual notice informing parents of students enrolled at the covered entity of this rule and any local policies or procedures related to the use of physical restraint and seclusion, including the local complaint process.


Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 5. Seclusion.

  1. Permitted uses of seclusion

    • A. Seclusion may be used only as an emergency intervention when the behavior of a student presents a risk of injury or harm to the student or others, and only after other less intrusive interventions have failed or been deemed inappropriate.
    • B. Seclusion must be implemented by staff certified in a state-approved training program to the extent possible. If, due to the nature of the emergency, untrained staff have intervened and initiated a seclusion, trained personnel must be summoned to the scene and assume control of the situation as rapidly as possible.
  2. Prohibited uses of seclusion

    • A. Seclusion may not be used for punitive purposes, staff convenience or to control challenging behavior.
    • B. Seclusion may not be used to prevent property destruction or disruption of the environment in the absence of a risk of injury or harm.
    • C. Seclusion may not be used as a therapeutic or educational intervention.
    • D. Seclusion may not take place in a locked room.
  3. Monitoring of a student in seclusion

    • A. At least one adult must be physically present to continuously monitor a student in seclusion The adult, while not present in the room or defined area, must be situated so that the student is visible at all times. Students must be continuously monitored until the student no longer presents a risk of injury or harm to self or others.
    • B. In the event of an injury to the student or staff, the local policy for emergency response must be initiated.
  4. Termination of seclusion

    • A. The staff involved in the use of seclusion shall continually assess for signs that the student is no longer presenting a risk of injury or harm to self or others, and the seclusion must be discontinued as soon as possible.
    • B. Time must be recorded consistent with the requirements of the documentation section of this rule and local policy.
    • C. The covered entity may request assistance from parents at any time during the incident.
    • D. If attempts to release from seclusion have been unsuccessful and a student is still presenting behaviors that create a risk of injury or harm to self or others, then the covered entity may request assistance from outside sources such as caregivers, case managers, crisis intervention teams, local EMS, or other community resources.
    • E. If seclusion continues for more than 10 minutes, an administrator or designee shall determine whether continued seclusion is warranted, and shall continue to monitor the status of the seclusion every 10 minutes until the seclusion is terminated.
  5. Location of seclusion. Seclusion can be achieved in any part of a school building with adequate light, heat, ventilation and of normal room height. If a specific room is designated as a seclusion room, it must be a minimum of 60 square feet with adequate light, heat, ventilation, be of normal room height, contain an unbreakable observation window in a wall or door and be free of hazardous material and objects with which a student could self-inflict bodily injury.


Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 6. Physical Restraint.
1. Permitted uses of physical restraint

  • A. Physical restraint may be used only as an emergency intervention when the behavior of a student presents a risk of injury or harm to the student or others, and only after other less intrusive interventions have failed or been deemed inappropriate.
  • B. Physical restraint must be implemented by staff certified in a state-approved training program to the extent possible. If, due to the nature of the emergency, untrained staff have intervened and initiated a physical restraint and if the need for physical restraint continues, trained personnel must be summoned to the scene and must assume control of the situation as rapidly as possible.
  • C. Physical restraint may be used to move a student only if the need for movement outweighs the risks involved in such movement.
  • D. Protective equipment or devices that are part of a treatment plan as prescribed by a licensed health care provider are not prohibited by this rule.

2. Prohibited forms and uses of physical restraint

  • A. Physical restraint may not be used for punitive purposes, staff convenience or to control challenging behavior.
  • B. Physical restraint may not be used to prevent property destruction or disruption of the environment in the absence of a risk of injury or harm.
  • C. No physical restraint may be used that restricts the free movement of the diaphragm or chest or that restricts the airway so as to interrupt normal breathing or speech (restraint-related positional asphyxia) of a student.
  • D. No physical restraint may be used that relies on pain for control, including but not limited to joint hyperextension, excessive force, unsupported take-down (e.g. tackle), the use of any physical structure (e.g. wall, railing or post), punching and hitting.
  • E. Physical restraint may not be used as a therapeutic or educational intervention.
  • F. Aversive procedures and mechanical and chemical restraints may not be used under any circumstances.
  • G. Prescribed assistive devices are not considered mechanical restraints when used as prescribed. Their use must be supervised by qualified and trained individuals in accordance with professional standards.
  • H. Prescribed medications are not considered chemical restraints when administered by a health care provider consistent with a student's health care plan are permitted.

3. Monitoring of a student in physical restraint

  • A. At least two adults must be present at all times when physical restraint is used except when, for safety reasons, waiting for a second adult is precluded.
  • B. A student in physical restraint must be continuously monitored until the student no longer presents a risk of injury or harm to self or others.
  • C. In the event of an injury, local policy must be followed.

4. Termination of physical restraint

  • A. The staff involved in the use of physical restraint must continually assess for signs that the student in physical restraint is no longer presenting a risk of injury or harm to self or others, and the physical restraint must be discontinued as soon as possible.

Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 7. Notification of Incident.
1. Reporting to an Administrator or Designee, others After each incident of physical restraint or seclusion, a staff member involved shall:

  • A. Report to the administrator or designee by oral notification as soon as possible after each incident, but in no event later than the end of the school day of its occurrence, and
    • B. If the student is receiving his or her education in an out-of-district placement through a tuition agreement or other agreement, report the incident to the entity responsible for the student's education within 24 hours or by the end of the next business day.

2. Notification to parents

  • A. An administrator or designee shall notify the parent that physical restraint or seclusion and any related first aid have occurred as soon as practical but within the school day in which the incident occurred, utilizing all available phone numbers and other appropriate means. If the parent is unavailable, a phone message must be left for the parent to contact the school as soon as possible. If a parent does not have access to a phone, the entity must use whatever contact information is available for emergencies. The parent must be informed that written documentation will be provided to them within 7 calendar days.
  • B. If a restraint or seclusion has occurred outside the school day, notification of the restraint or seclusion and any related first aid must occur as soon as possible in compliance with the entity's procedures for emergency situations.

3. Reporting of Serious Bodily Injury or Death If serious bodily injury or death of a student occurs during the implementation of restraint or seclusion:

  • A. Oral notification of the incident must follow local health and safety procedures as outlined by the covered entity's policies and procedures; and
  • B. The administrator or designee shall notify the Department of Education within 24 hours or the next business day.

Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 8. Documentation; Incident Report.
1. Incident Report Each use of physical restraint or seclusion must be documented in an incident report. The incident report must be completed and provided to an administrator or designee as soon as practical after the incident, and in all cases within two school days. At a minimum, the incident report must include:

  • A. Student name;
  • B. Age, gender, grade;
  • C. Location of the incident;
  • D. Date of incident;
  • E. Date of report;
  • F. Person completing the report;
  • G. Beginning and ending time of each physical restraint and seclusion;
  • H. Total time of incident;
  • I. Description of prior events and circumstances;
  • J. Less restrictive interventions tried prior to the use of physical restraint or seclusion. If none used, explain why;
  • K. The student behavior that justified the use of physical restraint or seclusion;
  • L. A detailed description of the physical restraint or seclusion used;
  • M. The staff person(s) involved, their role in the use of physical restraint or seclusion and their certification, if any, in an approved training program;
  • N. Description of the incident, including the resolution and process of return to program, if appropriate;
  • O. Whether the Student has an: a. IEP; b. 504 plan; c. behavior plan; d. IHP; or e. other plan;
  • P. If a student or staff sustained bodily injury, the date and time of nurse or response personnel notification and the treatment administered, if any;
  • Q. Date, time, and method of parent notification; and
  • R. Date, time of staff debriefing.
  1. Incident Report Provided to Parents, others A copy of the incident report must be provided, within 7 calendar days of the incident to:

    • A. The parent; and
    • B. If the student is receiving his or her education in an out-of-district placement through a tuition agreement or other agreement, the entity responsible for the student's education.
  2. Duration of Incident For purposes of this Section and Section 9, an "incident" consists of all actions between the time a student begins to create a risk of harm and the time the student ceases to pose a risk of harm and returns to his or her regular programming.


Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 9. Response to the Use of Physical Restraint or Seclusion.
1. Debriefing

  • A. Following each incident of physical restraint or seclusion, the covered entity shall ensure that, within two school days, an administrator or designee reviews the incident:

    • (1) With all staff persons who implemented the use of physical restraint or seclusion to discuss:
      • (a) Whether the use of restraint or seclusion was implemented in compliance with this rule and local policies, and
      • (b) How to prevent or reduce the future need for physical restraint and/or seclusion; and
    • (2) With the student who was restrained or secluded to discuss:
      • (a) What triggered the student's escalation; and
      • (b) What the student and staff can do to reduce the future need for restraint or seclusion.
  • B. When physical restraint or seclusion has resulted in serious bodily injury to a student or staff member requiring emergency medical treatment, the debriefing must take place as soon as possible but no later than the next school day.

  • C. Following the debriefing, staff must develop and implement a written plan for response and de-escalation for the student, or, if a plan already exists, staff must review and, if appropriate, revise it.


Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 10. Cumulative Reporting.
1. Building-level reporting, analysis A cumulative report by building must be made to the superintendent or chief administrator on a quarterly and annual basis to include:

  • A. Aggregate number of uses of physical restraint;
  • B. Aggregate number of students placed in physical restraint;
  • C. Aggregate number of uses of seclusion;
  • D. Aggregate number of students placed in seclusion;
  • E. Aggregate number of serious bodily injuries to students related to the use of restraint and seclusions; and
  • F. Aggregate number of serious bodily injuries to staff related to physical restraint and seclusion.
    The superintendent or chief administrator shall review cumulative reports received as set forth in this section and identify those areas that can be addressed to reduce the future use of physical restraint and seclusion. These cumulative reports may be requested by the Department of Education at any time.

2. Reporting Data to the Department of Education Each covered entity shall submit to the Department of Education an annual report of the incidence of physical restraint and seclusion that must include:

  • A. Aggregate number of uses of physical restraint;
  • B. Aggregate number of students placed in physical restraint;
  • C. Aggregate number of uses of seclusion;
  • D. Aggregate number of students in placed in seclusion;
  • E. Aggregate number of serious bodily injuries to students related to physical restraint and seclusion; and
  • F. Aggregate number of serious bodily injuries to staff related to physical restraint and seclusion.

Code of Maine Department of Education, Chapter 33 Rule governing physical restraint and seclusion, 05.071.033

Section 12. Staff Training; Approved Programs.

The Department of Education shall maintain a directory of approved training programs on its website at http://maine.gov/education/. The list of approved training programs may include regional training programs and regional "train the trainer" model programs. These training programs must require participants to demonstrate competency to achieve certification, and must include instruction in at least the following core components:

    1. The use of non-physical interventions for responding to potentially dangerous behaviors, including de-escalation and the use of positive alternatives;
    1. Identification of dangerous behaviors that may indicate the need for physical restraint or seclusion and methods for evaluating the risk of harm to determine whether such interventions are warranted;
    1. Instruction and simulated experience in administering safe physical restraint techniques across a range of increasingly restrictive interventions, including the safe movement of a student, and in recognizing and avoiding positions involving a high risk of restraint-related positional asphyxia (restricting a student's ability to breathe);
    1. The effects of physical restraint and seclusion on a student, including monitoring physical and psychological signs of distress and when to obtain medical assistance in compliance with the covered entity's procedures for emergency interventions;
    1. The risks and realities of physical restraint and seclusion; and
    1. A review of the process of student and staff debriefing.

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. A list of staff with the required approved training must be made available in each building office, as well as any central office, along with other school-wide emergency procedures and must be updated at least annually.

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