SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois school districts would be prohibited from using isolated seclusion as a student discipline practice under legislation introduced by state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, in response to a recent investigative report detailing more than 20,000 incidents in which children were locked into closets and other designated seclusion spaces during the school day.
“Isolated seclusion is a terrible practice that inflicts harm on children without any therapeutic value,” Carroll said. “It is no way to manage behavior, especially for students with special needs, and I am fighting to make sure no child ever again has to go through what too many have already experienced.”
Under current law, school districts are allowed to place students who pose a physical safety risk in isolated timeouts, though reports reveal thousands of incidents in which children were secluded for minor misbehavior. Carroll’s House Bill 3975 prohibits school personnel from confining students in any enclosed space for any reason, including as a method of punishment or behavior control. Besides being a traumatic experience for children, Carroll is emphasizing that there are better alternatives than forced isolation available.
“Creating a better, safer learning environment for all kids is critical,” Carroll said. “This includes teaching coping strategies and providing proper support to children who need it most, never isolating them when they are in crisis.”