Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to ban schools from using physical restraints that can restrict students’ breathing, and from using isolated timeout. ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune last year revealed the harms of these practices.
New Data Shows the Use of Seclusion and Restraint Increased in Illinois Schools During the 2017–18 School Year
As lawmakers prepare to debate a statewide ban on seclusion and restraint, Illinois schools reported using seclusion — the practice of forcibly isolating a student in a small room or other space — at least 10,776 times in the 2017–18 school year.
Fighting — and adapting to — the coronavirus in Illinois has been costly. So far, state agencies have spent more than $1.6 billion in federal and state COVID-19 funding since late March, buying everything from face masks to Subway sandwiches.
As educators and parents assess the risk of returning to the classroom, some felt frustrated by the lack of public data about COVID-19 in schools. After a ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation, the state will start publishing the data.
More children are testing positive for COVID-19 than they were between March and mid-August, when schools shut down. As parents weigh the safety of in-person learning, Illinois has not published information about the virus’s spread in schools.
Students in Illinois schools said “I can’t breathe” while being restrained at least 30 times over the time period we investigated, according to our analysis of the records. The practice of face-down restraint is still legal in Illinois.
Bill to Ban Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Gets Sidelined After Pushback From Administrators
After months of debate, lawmakers did not vote on a bill that would have banned the use of seclusion and restraint in Illinois schools. Administrators argued meeting with families for each incident burdens school workers.
More Than 1 in 5 Illinoisans Living in State Homes for Adults With Disabilities Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus
In Illinois, at least 355 people who live in state-run homes for adults with disabilities have tested positive for the coronavirus. “They don’t know why their family has stopped coming to visit,” a relative said.
In letters to parents of special education students, some Illinois school districts are asking them to accept scaled-back remote learning plans or waive their rights to “free appropriate public education.”
An anonymous individual donated a dozen internet hotspots. A school district near Chicago is sending Chromebooks. And a superintendent in rural Illinois is stunned by the support to keep his students learning.
How Often Do Schools Use Seclusion and Restraint? The Federal Government Isn’t Properly Tracking the Data, According to a New Report
A new report from the Government Accountability Office found the U.S. Department of Education’s attempts to determine how often schools use seclusion and restraint were “largely ineffective or do not exist.” That could put children at risk.
Despite encouragement from Illinois education officials to have remote e-learning plans, many school districts scrambled to design them before the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close.
How a School Stopped Relying on Restraining and Isolating Students — and What Others Can Learn From It
Some Illinois schools say they need to keep using dangerous forms of physical restraint and student isolation. Here’s how one school system in Virginia successfully shifted its entire approach to safety — from face-down holds to bubble baths.
Lawmakers Vow to Push for a Statewide Ban on Face-Down Restraint of Children in Illinois Schools, Despite Reversal
After a group of schools pressured the Illinois State Board of Education to reverse its ban on a dangerous form of physical restraint of students, lawmakers say they’ll seek to permanently ban the practice.
After a ProPublica Illinois and Chicago Tribune investigation sparked a statewide ban on some forms of seclusion and restraint of students, a small group of schools lobbied against the measure. And it worked.
A ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation found that schools throughout the state misused seclusion and restraint tactics against Illinois children. The criminal case is the second in the last year of an employee charged with mistreating a child.
While educators promote online learning as coronavirus spreads, some Illinois students aren’t equipped with the broadband to even notice.
The state board of education stopped short of a complete ban on seclusion after a small number of special education schools asked for more leeway in dealing with students.
In six of eight districts investigators examined, they found that workers broke the law by improperly secluding students. Parents say the investigations, which were prompted by a Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois story, have not gone far enough.
Four states currently ban the practice of secluding students at school. Illinois lawmakers want Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to make it 50. “This shouldn’t be controversial,” said U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.