SALEM -- An emergency ban on "seclusion cells" in public schools passed 56-0 in the Oregon House of Representatives Wednesday.
House Bill 2756, sponsored by the Education Committee, prohibits Oregon public schools from purchasing, building, or possessing the rooms, which are sometimes used to isolate students from others.
A Longview school came under fire in December for using a padded isolation booth to prevent special education students from hurting themselves or others. The school removed the booth shortly afterward.
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The bill defines seclusion as “the involuntary confinement of students alone in rooms from which they are physically prevented from leaving,” and states that it can be used only "when there is an imminent threat of serious bodily injury and other, less restrictive means of controlling the behavior are ineffective."
It was sent to the Senate and will become effective immediately if passed, and schools that already have seclusion cells will have to remove them immediately.