School seclusion room ban goes to Governor’s desk

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Schools will no longer be allowed to put kids in seclusion rooms under a new Illinois law.

The rooms were often used for children who were in crisis, and deemed to be a danger to those around them.

Representative Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) sponsored the legislation. He was put in seclusion rooms when he was a kid, and said he still remembers the trauma that comes with that punishment.

“When I was a kid, I dealt with isolation, timeout and restraint,” Carroll said. “And I think as a 12 year old kid, looking back, I’m 47 now, 35 years later, I still remember those things and the impact, they had. To be able to put a bill on the governor’s desk today, really, with the Help Center and Gillespie and a lot of advocates that’s going to stop this practice is the most important thing I’ve done in the legislature to this point.”

The bill comes with additional resources and training for schools to help them provide alternative measures for these students.

“It’s what we do to people with life sentences,” Carrol said. “We lock them in, we lock them in a cell, and they can’t be around people. So you’re telling a kid in crisis, that that’s how we’re going to treat you as well, in the effects of that are sort of so long term that we had to do something different.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.