Public Hearing About the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools (LD 243: “Resolved, To Direct the Department of Education to Amend its Rules Regarding Restraint of Students”)

Public Hearing About the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools (LD 243: “Resolved, To Direct the Department of Education to Amend its Rules Regarding Restraint of Students”)

This is not a statement of my opinion on the matter, instead it is meant to be a neutral explanation of the bill before our committee. I am aiming to receive commentary and opinions from anyone who is interested. The personal testimony I get really helps me shape my legislative decisions. This bill deals with a highly important issue and will require thorough and careful discussion.

When and Where?

2:00pm Wednesday February 20, 2013

Room 202, Cross State Office Building

What is LD 243?

LD 243, “Resolved, To Direct the Department of Education to Amend its Rules Regarding Restraint of Students,” is a bill that would direct the Department of Education to alter its rules about how and when educators may restrain or seclude students. The current rule, as set out in Chapter 33, allows the use of restraint or seclusion only in cases of imminent risk of injury or harm to the student or others. This bill would change the rule so that these measures may be used in order to prevent significant property damage or disruption of the educational environment. LD 243 would also say that educators may use restraint or seclusion when authorized in writing by a student’s parent. Finally, LD 243 would change the rules to allow educators to pick up students under the age of 8 to move them to a safe location.

What is happening at this hearing?

The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee would like to hear directly from anyone with information about how this bill would affect them, their children or their community. The hearing is open to the public and anyone may testify.

If you plan to speak at a public hearing, it is often useful to prepare and distribute your comments in written form. In preparing testimony, written or not, make sure you introduce yourself and, if you represent an organization, give the name of the organization. State whether you support the bill, oppose it or are offering suggestions to improve it, and then explain your reasoning. If you do provide written testimony, bring at least 20 copies and give them to the committee clerk before you testify. Photocopiers are available in the Law and Legislative Reference Library in Room 200 of the State House for a nominal charge.

For a helpful guide on testifying at the Maine Legislature please see this great handout from the Office of Policy and Legal Analysis: http://www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citizensguide.pdf

Can’t make it to the hearing?

The hearing tomorrow will be broadcast on MPBN’s Maine Capital Connection which is available both over the air or on Time Warner Cable. For those of us who don’t have TV or those of us who have Comcast can view the channel online at:

https://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineCapitolConnection.aspx

You can also listen to hearing online at the Education Committee website: http://www.maine.gov/legis/audio/education_cmte.html

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This post was written by
Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, a Brunswick native, is the State Representative for the Maine House District 66

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