saferoom 011221SPRINGFIELD – To end the abuse of seclusion rooms in public schools, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) passed a measure in the Illinois Senate that would ban the use of prone restraint.

“With students beginning to return to physical classrooms, our children should not fear that their basic dignity will be stripped away,” Gillespie said. “I remain committed to ending the inhumane practice of prone restraint and the abuse of seclusion rooms.”

Previously filed under Senate Bill 2315, the legislation now moves under House Bill 2263. Current law allows school staff to isolate a student if they pose a danger to themselves or others. However, a Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois investigation revealed that isolation rooms are often used as a punishment for refusing to do classwork, swearing and other behavior that does not pose a threat to safety.

ISBE issued rules to only allow timeouts with a trained adult in the room, an unlocked door and “only for therapeutic reasons or protecting the safety of students and staff.” These emergency rules, however, will expire 150 days after implemented.

House Bill 2263 passed the Illinois Senate and awaits consideration in the Illinois House.