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Media Literacy

Illinois Senate Panel Approves “Media Literacy” Mandate in Schools | training

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This is an issue that lawmakers tried to address during the lame Duck session in January when a bill passed unanimously in the Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives.

The State Board of Education passed rules in 2020 that would gradually end the use of seclusion and vulnerable or concealed shackles by July this year. House Bill 219, passed by the House of Representatives on March 22nd at 113-0, would actually give the State Board an additional two full years through the 2023-2024 school year to phase out these practices.

Senator Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, the main Senate sponsor of the bill, admitted the extension has generated some opposition to the bill. She said she plans to continue amending the bill before the final vote, including shortening the transition period so that it would go into effect in the 2022-2023 school year.

The use of isolation and restraint in school settings has long been criticized by proponents of students with disabilities.

Cheryl Jansen, director of public policy at the disability rights organization Equip for Equality, said the practice of physical restrictions in particular has proven dangerous and in some situations even fatal. She said restraint was being disproportionately used among students with disabilities, and a disproportionate proportion of those students were black or Latino.

Guy Stephens, who heads a group called Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint, said he took action to ban the practices after his autistic son was traumatized by the use of seclusion and restraint in school.

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