JEFFERSON CITY — Representatives on the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of legislation that would limit the use of seclusion rooms in school districts.
Chair of the Committee Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, said House Bill 1568 aims to address using seclusion rooms only as a safety measure as opposed to as a disciplinary action against students.
“There are some districts that are doing the appropriate thing, but there are some that are not,” Basye said. “We’re just trying to get to a place where we can keep this (bill) from being used in an inappropriate manner.”
Basye said the bill has bipartisan support, though some concerns were raised before the committee vote on the burden that the reporting requirements would place on school staff.
The bill outlines how seclusion and restraint has to be reported to parents and the state by schools.
“The main concern I heard today is the requirement to report on a minute-by-minute basis (when) a child is in one of these seclusion rooms,” Bayse said.
The usage of seclusion rooms has been contentious in the Columbia Public School District, with advocates pushing for change in the policy.
A district spokesperson said the district’s policies are mostly aligned with the proposed legislation.
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