AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Teachers say a new state rule limiting what they can do to calm or control unruly students has made classrooms "chaotic and unpredictable" and left them helpless.

More than 75 people packed a Statehouse hearing room on Wednesday to debate a bill that proposes to loosen the rule.

The rule, which took effect in the fall, prohibits physical restraint unless a teacher or student is in "imminent danger" of harm. Educators say that definition is too narrow and is causing problems in the classroom.

The Kennebec Journal ( ) reports that Cyndy Fish, a special education teacher in Bangor, says most teachers now remove all other students from a classroom when one student acts up —disrupting the entire classroom.

Those opposed to the bill say the current rules works.


Information from: Kennebec Journal,