Plan To End Prone Restraint & Seclusion In Schools Doesn't Come Up For Vote

May 29, 2020

Media investigations on isolated seclusions and restraint in Illinois sparked controversy and prompted immediate emergency rule changes from the State Board of Education last fall.

The State Board of Education has issued several rules to clarify the specific situations in which isolated time-outs can be used. It also banned prone restraints.

Illinois State Representative John Carroll introduced a plan in the House to permanently end those practices.

After legislative hearings and meetings with stakeholders, the measure didn’t go up for a vote as part of the package of education-related bills. State Representative John Carroll says it didn’t help that he couldn’t be in Springfield to talk to colleagues due to self-isolating after being exposed to COVID-19.

Carroll also spoke about his own experience with seclusions as a child.

“Sure, in a moment, putting a kid in a space might seem like what's in the best interest of the kid, but the long-term impacts of that will carry with that person the rest of his or her life,” he said.

He says he understands why some schools are hesitant to shift their practices on the fly, but hopes they can at least come together for a solution that’s better than the policies in place.

And he says it is frustrating to see the plan derailed so close to the end of the legislative session.

“Can we at least admit that what's going on needs to evolve and change, and work with us on doing less of that?” said Carroll.

Some private schools were not in favor of the plan, and the lobbyist group for Illinois public school principals and administrators recently penned letters opposing Carrol’s bill.

Carroll says he’s not giving up. He says he thinks the bill has enough support to pass during the veto session later this year.