gillespie 041321SPRINGFIELD – As classes resume in-person, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) passed legislation in the Senate Education Committee to ban the abuse of restraints and seclusion rooms in schools.

“With students returning to physical classrooms, our children should not fear that their basic dignity will be stripped away,” Gillespie said. “I remain committed to ending the inhumane practice of prone restraint and the abuse of seclusion rooms.”

The legislation passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate during the 101st General Assembly but did not pass the Illinois House. Current law allows school staff to isolate a student if they pose a danger to themselves or others. However, a Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois investigation revealed that isolation rooms are often used as a punishment for refusing to do classwork, swearing and other behavior that does not pose a threat to safety.

Senate Bill 2296 passed the Senate Education Committee and awaits consideration before the full Senate.