DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a series of measures into law Monday to address violent outbursts in Iowa classrooms.
WHO 13 has shared teachers’ and families’ heartbreaking stories in the Breaking Point series. It exposed the controversial practice known as the “room clear.” That is when well-behaved children are evacuated from a classroom while a child having an outburst is allowed to destroy property and even harm teachers.
The new law was drafted by State Sen. Amy Sinclair and aims to reduce room clears. In the case that one does happen, the new law says all parents must be notified within 24 hours.
Teachers and administrators are to be educated on what their options are to manage violent and disruptive behavior.
There will be grants offered to create therapeutic classrooms and to transport students to them if needed.
The new law requires schools to report incidents of property damage and injury. The Iowa Department of Education will start tracking those numbers.
There are now legal protections for teachers and $2.5 million budgeted for these changes.
“The future of our state begins in the classroom, and it’s a place that must be safe both for students and for our educators,” said Reynolds.
The bill was overwhelmingly bipartisan and passed the Senate and the House by a margin of 143-4.
The full bill can be read here.