Compensation Panel Standards

Eligibility for Compensation

CPS-1 A claimant is eligible for compensation if in the view of the Compensation Panel the claimant was abused by a state employee or as a result of action or inaction while a student at the Maine School for the Deaf or the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. The Compensation Panel shall make this determination if the compensation panel finds there is a reasonable likelihood that the claimant was abused while a student at the Maine School for the Deaf or the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. The abuse may have occurred at either school or elsewhere, but the abuse must have been associated with attendance or residence at either school while the State was responsible for the claimant’s care and custody. The allegation of the abuse includes abuse that occurred before January 1, 2001.

CPS-2 The Panel shall refer to BCA Form # 10 for documentation of the claimant’s attendance at either school. If the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf has no current record of the claimant, the Panel can rely on documents such as report cards, certificates or diplomas, year book pictures and other documentation deemed by the Panel to be reliable evidence of attendance.

CPS-3 Abuse means sexual abuse, physical abuse or both.

CPS-4 “Sexual Abuse” means (a) a sexual exploitation and may include behavior which is sexual in nature, or (b) the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion to engage in, or assist any person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of conduct, including, but not limited to the coerced observation of sexual acts or sexually explicit material, or coerced sexual touching of or by others.

CPS-5 “Physical abuse” means (a) is the non-accidental infliction of physical injury, (b) the failure of a caretaker to make reasonable efforts to prevent the infliction of physical injury, or (c) the inflicting of injury, or allowing injury to be inflicted including physical injury that is the result of harsh disciplinary methods or corporal punishment which is considered to be severe, unreasonable or unjustifiable. Behaviors that are deemed to be abusive include but are not limited to hitting with a hard instrument or closed fists, burning, scalding, kicking, chocking, or stabbing, or severe pushing or shoving.

CPS-6 “Coercion” means both (a) physical coercion or (b) the use of authority and power by a person of authority at the school or by a student with real or perceived power over other students.

CPS-7 Abuse does not include either (a) participation in developmentally appropriate activity between children when there is no coercion or significant difference in age or power, or (b) normal affectionate behavior and normal activities of health and hygiene.

CPS-8 In determining a claimant’s eligibility, the Panel may relay on the testimony of the claimant and objective indicators in school records, or counseling notes. Indicators of abuse may include, but are not limited to, reports of nightmares, conduct problems, suicide attempts, psychological assessments, sudden lack of achievement, changes in the claimant’s family or social life before and after attendance at the school.