Loughran Cappel backs bill banning seclusion of students

State Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel supported legislation that would have prohibited the disciplining of children in school by secluding them.

Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, a former special education teacher, said she was proud that one of her first votes in the Senate was to ban this form of discipline, according to a news release.

The bill, H.B. 2263, passed the Senate but the House did not get to it in the last session, though a new session has already started. Still, lawmakers have said they want to take action.

“Studies show that isolating students as punishment does not change behavior,” Loughran Cappel said in the release. “This legislation will protect our students from the harmful mental health effects of seclusion rooms.”

The new state senator had also previously served on the Joliet Township High School Board of Education, including on the district’s discipline committee.

The bill would have banned all isolated seclusion practices and ban the use of physical restraints that could impair a student’s ability to breathe or speak normally. It would still allow for timeouts with a trained adults in the room.

“All our children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” she said in the release.