The spaces have gentle names, like “the reflection room.” But shut inside them, schoolchildren as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out.
This investigation is a collaboration between ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune.
Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in schools across Illinois. Often, it’s against the law.
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.
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.
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.
Educators who testified before Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday agreed: Shutting students inside closet-sized rooms as punishment is never OK.
While reporting on the use of physical restraint in schools, I wanted to understand if school workers properly used their training in the classroom. They often did not.
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.
We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of restraint and seclusion in Illinois.
A 7-Year-Old Complained About a Scary Office at School. This Is the Video His Parents Saw — a Month Later.
“I want accountability,” the boy’s father said. The video prompted one of 21 investigations into abuse at an Illinois school that secluded students more than 1,700 times last school year.
One school. 21 abuse investigations. And the struggle to stop relying on seclusion and restraint.
The changes to a ban on restraints came after some schools said they could no longer serve children.
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.
A day after our reporting, Illinois ended isolated seclusion of children in schools across the state. What happened? Children’s voices were heard.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the practice of secluding children “appalling” and said he will work with legislators to end it.
We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of seclusion in Illinois.
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.