SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing his advocacy for the safety and wellbeing of children, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, is backing a new law to combat the use of isolation rooms in Illinois schools for any reason, including as a method of punishment or behavior control.
“I am deeply disturbed by the recent reports of children being secluded in isolation rooms,” said Slaughter. “This practice can result in irreparable trauma and lasting harm to a child’s sense of self-worth. I’m backing this measure because using isolation as a means of control does not benefit children in any way, especially when they may not understand why they are being punished in the first place.”
Slaughter is backing House Bill 3975 to combat the practice of secluding children in isolation rooms as a form of discipline. If passed, this measure would completely prohibit a school district from allowing school personnel to seclude a student in total isolation. This follows a recent investigative report by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois, revealing that Illinois schools were using student isolation disciplinary measures at an alarming rate, disproportionately impacting students with disabilities.
“Inflicting any kind of emotional or psychological trauma on children is inexcusable,” said Slaughter. “Every child deserves a safe, compassionate environment in order to learn and succeed in school. Without question, isolation rooms have no place in Illinois.”