State seeks input on child restraints

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– The Illinois State Board of Education wants parents to give their input on a set of newly proposed rules regarding time out and restraint. The board proposed permanent rules, hoping to keep everyone safe without causing harm to children who may need a time out.

Last month the board took emergency action to end the use of isolated seclusion or time out rooms after Governor Pritzker directed the board stop the isolation, calling it “traumatizing” to students. The rooms are where schools put students to calm them down by separating them from everyone else.

Now, the board has a proposal of permanent rules that will continue to ban time out rooms as they were previously used. Members said it would allow students showing threatening behavior to be isolated in a safer manner.

“The permanent rules make a few changes from the emergency rules based on what we were hearing from the field. We also banned prone restraints but allowed for supine in emergency situations and really added a lot more details in the training requirements.” said Amanda Elliott, ISBE Executive Director of Legislative Affairs.

That means the proposal bans restraining students while they are lying face-down. Face-up restraints will be allowed but only as a last resort. An adult must also check on students in isolation every 15 minutes and the seclusion spaces must be unlocked with access to food, medication and restrooms under the new proposal.

The State Board wants your thoughts on the new proposals. You can weigh in now until February 4th by emailing rules@isbe.net. The board wants to finalize the rules in the spring of 2020.


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