© 2022 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Some Parents Of Special Ed Students Oppose Proposed Ban On Seclusion, Restraints In Schools

Legislation that would ban the use of seclusion and restraints in Maine's public schools is drawing opposition from some parents of special education students.

Opponents gathered outside the State House to voice their objections to the bill approved by a Democratic majority of the legislature’s education committee.

Parent Lynn Perkins says her daughter sometimes benefits from being isolated in a room at school.

“Everybody loves to work with her, yet she needs that seclusion. Taking that away takes away her ability to calm down, takes away her ability to self-regulate," she says.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Representative Rebecca Millett of Cape Elizabeth, issued a statement defending the proposed ban, pointing to federal data showing that Maine schools restrain students at the highest rate in the nation.

It’s likely the measure will come before the full legislature on Wednesday.

Republican Representative Shelia Lyman of Livermore Falls, who serves on the education committee, is opposed to the bill.

"I am quite concerned when some of the testimony for LD 1373 addressing restraints and banning seclusion presented misleading information," Lyman says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.