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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Seclusion Cell Ban Heads To Governor's Desk

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – A ban on the use of so-called seclusion cells in Oregon schools is on its way to the desk of Governor John Kitzhaber. The Oregon Senate voted Monday to approve the measure that would phase out the small rooms. They’re used when out-of-control students need a place to calm down without posing a risk to themselves or others.

Democratic senator Lee Beyer told his colleagues there are other ways to handle these students.

"I understand the problems that you have in containing some of these young people that have problems, but this is the wrong way."

Larger seclusion rooms would still be permitted under the measure. It's not clear whether any Oregon schools use the smaller type of seclusion cells that would be banned. But the chief supporters of the legislation say their goal is to get rid of four specific seclusion cells used at a school in Portland which serves students with severe behavioral and mental health issues.

On the Web:

HB 2756: Seclusion cell ban - Oregon Legislature