Restraint and Seclusion

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

On October 18th 2021

A new statute informing the practice of restraint and seclusion in schools, will become active law. SAU's should examine their restraint and seclusion policies and practice to ensure they are in alignment with the statute Sec.1. 20-A MRSA §4014: "Use of seclusion and physical restraint.


The Department of Education will need to follow strict guidelines set by the Maine State Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in order to bring the existing Chapter 33 Rule into alignment with the new §4014 statute.

After October 18th 2021

After Oct. 18th, all MDOE guidance and resources will not be valid until the Chapter 33 Rule change is completed. Due to the APA process, the MDOE will not be allowed to offer guidance on the new statute until the Chapter 33 Rule change is completed. 

Tentative Timeline for Chapter 33 APA Rule Change

Targeted amendments to the Chapter 33 Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion will be part of a major substantive rule change and require the following steps:

  • Oct. 18, 2021: File proposed updates to Chapter 33 Rule
  • Oct. 27, 2021: Rule is posted
  • Nov. 15, 2021: Hearing
  • Dec. 3, 2021: Comment period ends
  • Dec. 10, 2021: Final review
  • Jan 1, 2021: File with Legislative Council and Secretary of State before New Year’s
Previous Restraint and Seclusion Information *Only Valid Before October 18, 2021
The following information is only valid until October 18th 2021:


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.


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