Chicago (WBBM) — A new state law will get rid of so-called “police booking rooms” in Illinois schools, something advocates say results in “criminalizing” students unnecessarily.

Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says the problem is that dozens of schools in Illinois have rooms specifically set aside for police to book students involved in some kind of problem or fight.

“Chicago Public Schools alone reported to having over 2,000 school related arrests on school grounds in recent school years,” said Mbekeani-Wiley.

Autry Phillips, Director of the Target Area Development Corporation, says the new law bans the booking rooms and he hopes the arrests will go down.

“It’s not so much the dismantling of a room but the dismantling of the process,” said Phillips. “What we want to do is start bringing the parents back to school instead of law enforcement.”

The advocates say that way they can handle discipline the way all the other schools do.


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