MEA: ‘Dozens’ of educators assaulted in wake of changes to restraint rules

AUGUSTA — The Maine Education Association said confusion over new rules that govern restraint of students in public schools has resulted in numerous injuries to educators in Maine.

In one case, according to a press release from the MEA, an educational technician was scratched, bitten and thrown against a wall. The ed tech reportedly did not touch the child, but rather suffered the injury for fear of breaking new restraint rules put in place this year.

Lois Kilby-Chesley, a teacher and president of the Maine Education Association, said this incident was one of “dozens being reported in schools around the state.”

The new rules were developed by a stakeholders’ group after complaints from parents about their children being physically restrained and in some cases secluded in “safe rooms.” The rules were adopted by the Legislature in March of this year.

In addition to offering clearer definitions of restraint and seclusion in cases of extreme behavior by students, the new guidelines in Chapter 33 of the Department of Education’s rules require teachers to be trained and lay out an extensive documentation and review process.

The new rules say that an educator cannot physically restrain a child except in the case of an emergency.

“The rules of restraint, known as Chapter 33, on paper seem clear,” Kilby-Chesley said. “However, educators have not received proper training on how to implement the rules.”

Kilby-Chesley said one problem with the new guidelines is that they are not clear about what constitutes an emergency. School districts are required to provide training about the new rules, but the MEA says the training that has taken place in many districts is insufficient.

“A two-hour Power Point presentation is not enough training to deal with the intricacies of the rule,” said Kilby-Chesley. “I have heard from educators across the state fearful if they do so much as touch a child’s arm to prevent them from throwing a book they will lose their jobs. I can’t imagine this is what the rule is intended to do.”

In addition to its press release, Kilby-Chesley said the MEA has written a letter detailing its concerns to Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen.

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Henry Bear

You hit the nail on the head.

Its a good rule ... leave them kids alone ...

Hire trained teachers instead.

Hire only teachers who have experience raising children. Do not hire teachers who have had no children or successful experience raising children.

In fact, only grand parents should be hired as teachers, preferably.

In schools today, there are far too many recent or near recent college educated, so-called, teachers who have absolutely no experience teaching children, raising children (no difference) or leading young people.

This is a fatal flaw in our approach to education of young people, particularly.

Students know this. Kids are, relatively speaking, teaching kids.

Its no different than children having children.

Both spell trouble in both the short and long term.

Let's get real. Let's harness our Elders and get them back into our education centers, classrooms and schools as a first step to solving the obvious breakdown that Kilby-Chesley is trying to describe to us.

If she disagrees, then the MEA may need a new leader and Stephen Bowen could do better than listen to her petty gripes and focus, instead, on correcting the obvious problem of "kids teaching kids" ... in this situation the kids seem to have been promoted to President of the MEA.

Again, I think it's time to bring in the big guns .... let's get Granny and Grandpa in there to show you all how its done ..... and without restraints or safe rooms.

Step aside ... I tell you... and grow up.

The view you have of our children is disgusting ... and your self-promotion and selfishness, generally, makes it all the worse.

Get out of the way. Because, despite what ever you think you have for educations and professionalism, you've proven it ain't enough.

Have you ever heard of the term, "Unconditional positive regard" ....People?

Look it up ....'cause you ain't got it, either.

Again, the best thing you could do, it seems, is to just give up and get out of the way, and let those who have the proper attitude toward young people, who have UPR, who have completed the kind of "educations" needed here, and are still available to take on the job as our schools teachers to teach our young people do so.

Allisa Milliard's picture

great idea!! that way when

great idea!! that way when little jimmy's mom sells his medications and jimmy starts throwing punches at the teacher, teacher can sustain much worse injuries. when little sally starts punching another student for looking at her.....when beckie throws a desk....when sammy puts his fist threw a get the point. and while grandma is discipling little billy, who is teaching the other 30 students in the class?
kids today are much more out of control then you would like to admit, parents rely on medications rather then discipline if the parents are around at all.
those "kids teaching kids" are usually in their mid to late 20's, have 4-6 years of college class time, as well as required time spent in real classrooms and tutoring real students, as well as child and developmental psychology, and a national exam that has strict guidelines about who can take it. teachers have more training and education then nurses do.

Jason Theriault's picture

Easy fix.

Easy Fix - Call the Police.
Have the child arrested.

Allisa Milliard's picture

some schools have tried that.

some schools have tried that. police officers really aren't trained for that sort of thing, and usually call in child psych. to come in and deal with it. many of the more out of control students aren't afraid of cops. sometimes that is the only time a teacher ever sees the student's parents is when the police were called, and the parent comes running to defend the little..........

Bob Woodbury's picture


...belongs in the home. Unfortunately, parents don't believe in discipline. Parents are into blaming other people for their children's failures. After all, they gave their child a time out. That should be sufficient.


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