To the Honorable Appropriations Committee,

I’m writing to express my strong support for funding LD 1376, "An Act To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules To Ensure That Physical Restraint and Seclusion Policies Are Followed for Special Education Students and Make Biennial Reports on the Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion"

This bill is currently on the Special Appropriations Table, waiting to be funded and passed into law.  There are at least 117,000 [2] reasons why you should support funding this bill immediately!  Why that number[1], because that is the number of times students have been restrained or secluded in Maine since 2013.  Please take a moment to let that sink in. 117,000 [2]  times. 

if you wish, REPLACE THIS TEXT with a little about yourself including where you live here and share your experience with restraint and seclusion.  For example, as a parent who was traumatized when our son was restrained on the playground 9 years ago, I understand the potential impact on my family and my extended family.

This recently updated Restraint and Seclusions report1 from Disability Rights Maine (DRM) documents that these 117,000 [2]  interventions are being disproportionately used on students with disabilities. When there is the continued use of restraints and seclusions, a student with disability stands to lose access to their home school, their peers and a long list of opportunities that diminish their true potential, including the ability to graduate.  117,000 (2) times students could have experienced an injury, trauma or death in our schools.  Injury and trauma might not just occur to the student who experiences restraint or seclusion, but to the other students nearby, and to all the staff involved.

Continuing to not address this issue is simply wrong.  If funded, this bill will:

·       Provide the Department the authority to act when the district relies heavily on restraints and seclusion through a technical education and compliance plan method,
·       Provide schools the tools they need to prevent restraint and seclusion through more technical assistance and professional development opportunities,
·       Provide the legislature the information it needs to provide adequate oversight by requiring a biennial report to the Education Committee and the Governor,

Our children need you to fund this bill.  Please vote to do so.

I thank you 117,000 [2]  times.

Thank you again, for your time and consideration.

​Your name here.

[1] DOE, Chapter 33 data compiled by Disability Rights Maine and published https://drme.org/assets/brochures/CH33.Report.FINAL.2019.pdf

[2] DOE Recently released data for the school year 2018-19 https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/safeschools/restraint


The time has come!! We need your help to SAVE LD 1376 "An Act To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules To Ensure That Physical Restraint and Seclusion Policies Are Followed for Special Education Students and Make Biennial Reports on the Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion".

This bill is currently on the Special Appropriations Table, waiting to be funded and passed into law. Please feel free to use the attached letter but add your information where it's
bold! THANK YOU!!

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE MEMBERS CONTACT INFO:

Senator Cathy Breen of Cumberland- Chair - Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov

Senator James Hamper - James.Hamper@legislature.maine.gov

Senator Linda Sanborn - Linda.Sanborn@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Drew Gattine – Chair - Andrew.Gattine@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Amy Arata - Amy.Arata@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Michelle Dunphy - Michelle.Dunphy@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Brian Hubbell - Brian.Hubbell@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Erik Jorgensen - Erik.Jorgensen@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Dennis Keschl - Dennis.Keschl@legislature.maine.gov

Representative John Martin - John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Sawin Millett - Sawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Teresa Pierce - Teresa.Pierce@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Nathan Wadsworth - Nathan.Wadsworth@legislature.maine.gov

Maureen Dawson - OFPR Analyst -  Maureen.Dawson@legislature.maine.gov

PLEASE CC THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Senator Rebecca Millett – Chair - Rebecca.Millett@legislature.maine.gov

Senator Brownie Carson - Brownie.Carson@Legislature.Maine.gov

Senator Matthew Pouliot - Matthew.Pouliot@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Victoria Kornfield – Chair - Victoria.Kornfield@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Michael Brennan - Michael.Brennan@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Jan Dodge - Janice.Dodge@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Gary Drinkwater - Gary.Drinkwater@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Dick Farnsworth - Richard.Farnsworth@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Justin Fecteau - Justin.Fecteau@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Henry Ingwersen - Henry.Ingwersen@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative David McCrea - David.McCrea@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Shelley Rudnicki - Shelley.Rudnicki@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Heidi Sampson - Heidi.Sampson@Legislature.Maine.gov

Rachel Tremblay - OFPR Analyst - Rachel.Tremblay@legislature.maine.gov

Karen Nadeau - OPLA Analyst - Karen.Nadeau@legislature.maine.gov

Hillary Risler - OPLA Analyst - Hillary.Risler@Legislature.Maine.gov

THANK YOU!!

Deb Davis Advocacy

​​Working collaboratively towards successful outcomes

Deb Davis

Non-Attorney Education Advocate

ddavisadvocacy@gmail.com​​

207-233-3392