13-year-old with autism urges lawmakers to pass legislation ending 'seclusion rooms' in schools
© Istock

A 13-year-old with autism is urging lawmakers to pass legislation banning “seclusion rooms” at schools.

Alex Campbell visited Capitol Hill last week to speak with lawmakers, staff and others in support of the Keeping All Students Safe act.

Campbell told NBC News that as a student with autism spectrum disorder, he was taken to his elementary school’s “crisis room,” a converted storage closet with one small window, over half a dozen times.


"When I asked for help or asked if anyone was still there, nobody would answer," he said. "I felt alone. I felt scared."

Alex’s school reportedly never notified his parents about the “crisis room,” and urged Alex to keep it a secret.

The proposed legislation, introduced by Democratic Reps. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDemocrats: Trump plan could jeopardize 500,000 children's free school meals Lawmakers, press hit the courts for charity tennis event House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour MORE (Va.) and Don Beyer (Va.), would ban seclusion and limit the use of physical restraints on students to emergencies.

"We need to give them much better ways of dealing with the child who is crying or hitting, or is out of control," Beyer told NBC News. "Those do exist."

Public school districts nationwide reported restraining or secluding over 120,000 students in the 2015-16 school year, according to federal data cited by NBC News.

Lawmakers have been attempting to pass versions of such legislation for years, but have run into opposition from school superintendents and other officials who have said that such regulation should occur at the local level.