Lakeidra Chavis

Reporting Fellow

Lakeidra Chavis is a former reporting fellow for ProPublica Illinois. She came to ProPublica from Chicago Public Media (WBEZ). She was a producer for WBEZ’s News Desk, helping produce “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” Outside of production, she explored untold stories in the city, including an in-depth piece on how Chicago’s black communities have been impacted by the opioid crisis. Before coming to the big city, Lakeidra worked as a reporter in rural Alaska. While there, she covered issues around police misconduct, climate change and financial corruption. Lakeidra has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Schools Aren’t Supposed to Forcibly Restrain Children as Punishment. In Illinois, It Happened Repeatedly.

As Illinois moves to restrict the use of physical restraint in schools, records show the practice was often misused, leaving students and staff injured.

How We Reported This Story

We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of restraint and seclusion in Illinois.

Illinois Will Allow Prone, Supine Restraints on Children While Schools Learn to Phase Them Out

The changes to a ban on restraints came after some schools said they could no longer serve children.

There’s an Emergency Ban on Isolated Timeouts in Illinois Schools. What’s Next?

The state board of education said it will refer school workers to law enforcement if they are suspected of committing crimes against children as the emergency ban on seclusion in Illinois public schools goes into effect.

Readers Choked Back Tears. Some Struggled to Keep Reading. We Understand.

A day after our reporting, Illinois ended isolated seclusion of children in schools across the state. What happened? Children’s voices were heard.

Illinois to Take Emergency Action to Halt Isolated Timeouts in Schools

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the practice of secluding children “appalling” and said he will work with legislators to end it.

The Quiet Rooms

Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in schools across Illinois. Often, it’s against the law.

The Federal Government Collects Data on How Often Schools Seclude Children. The Numbers Don’t Add Up.

Even though school districts are required to report their use of seclusion and restraint to the U.S. Department of Education, it can be difficult for parents to see the full picture.

How We Reported This Story

We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of seclusion in Illinois.

The Books and Movies That Made Us Better Journalists

Reporters are always consuming journalism articles, books and movies to help inspire their craft.

What Chicago Voters Can Look Forward to in a Very Crowded Mayoral Election

First, “Petitions are the first test of a campaign’s organization.”

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