top of page

Washington Examiner asks WHY restraint/seclusion used on special needs students

Dec 17, 2019, Washington Examiner: (Opinion)Is it OK for public schools to put misbehaving special-needs children in locked-door seclusion? An eye-opening new stud from the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica revealed that hundreds of Illinois public schools are using the questionable disciplinary practice of locked-door seclusion with special-needs children. The practice of putting children in isolated timeout, known as seclusion, has been going on for many years in schools serving children prone to emotional and behavioral outbursts. In Illinois and 30 other states, it is technically legal to keep students in a separate space by themselves if they pose a safety threat to themselves or others…. The new rules will not totally ban the use of timeouts but do require that children are only put in timeout if a “trained adult” is in the room and the door is unlocked. The board also said timeouts should be used only for “therapeutic” purposes or to protect the safety of students and staff…. If students are committed to hurting themselves or others, the adults, who are also responsible for all of the children around them, have limited options. … …One administrator reported that her district lost its workers compensation insurance because employees were injured so frequently in confrontations with students. Rather than banning a practice and thinking all will be well, it would behoove policymakers to ask why such a seemingly antiquated practice was being used in the first place. Maybe then they can address the real root of this problem.


bottom of page