Iowa considers rules to limit use of school seclusion rooms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is considering new rules to limit school districts from using padded seclusion rooms to discipline children following a violent outburst.

The proposed changes seek to limit the frequency rooms are used and implement a better system to notify parents. The rules also seek new specifications for the wooden rooms, which are typically 6-by-6-foot.

The ACLU of Iowa and Disability Rights Iowa helped draft the changes. They say some districts have used the rooms too frequently, particularly with students with disabilities and African-Americans.

School officials say they’re concerned the rules are overly burdensome.

The rooms have come under scrutiny in recent years. The state Department of Education determined in 2017 that the Iowa City Community School District improperly used the rooms.