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Missouri lawmakers hope to ban seclusion in schools

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Friday marked the first day for Missouri lawmakers to pre-file bills that they hope will become law next year. One state representative filed a bill that would ban solitary confinement for K-12 students in public and charter schools.

State Rep. Ian Mackey (D-Clayton) is a former teacher. He backed a 2021 law that required schools to report cases of seclusion to parents and the state. 

Tracey Bloch, director of legislative advocacy for the Missouri Disability Empowerment Foundation, credits the attention for bringing greater awareness to the issue.

Mackey said last school year, Missouri students were sent to solitary confinement at least 8,000 times. He believes too many schools punish students excessively through seclusion techniques, resulting in worse long-term outcomes.

Mackey said if lawmakers pass his bill, Missouri will become the 10th state to ban seclusion.

The full article is available at ozarksfirst.com.

(Story by Joey Schneider, Jeff Bernthal, ozarksfirst.com)

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