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An attorney with experience in civil litigation, Ian understands the role of the law in advancing social justice.

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The son of two public school teachers, and an early childhood educator himself, Ian's top priority is quality education.


As state representative, Ian is working to end the misuse of seclusion, isolation and restraint of kids in our schools. 

Bringing People Together

Thank you for trusting me to represent District 87 in the Missouri General Assembly. I ran to bring people together. From the time I grew up in Southern Missouri, I’ve enjoyed discussing issues with those who may see them differently. As a progressive in Missouri, I don’t believe we must sacrifice our principles to prosper. Click here to learn more about me.

Recent News

January 15, 2020

'Thrown in a Box': Missouri Schools' Use of Isolation Rooms and Restraints is Inhumane

Missouri state Reps. Ian Mackey, a St. Louis Democrat, and Dottie Bailey, a Republican from Eureka, have introduced bills that would curtail, regulate and define for the first time the currently out-of-control use of these practices in our state. The legislation has a real chance of passing this year, and it’s so important for our children that it does.

“These isolation rooms are brand new” in Missouri, Mackey said in an interview, and are typically justified by the argument that “all these kids are so violent that we need them,” when that’s not the case. “There have always been fights in schools, and never have we thrown kids in closets” being marketed to schools by outfits like Catapult.

January 15, 2020

Missouri House Committee to Hear Testimony on School Seclusion Rooms

Representative Mackey, a former teacher, tells Capitol reporters that numerous school districts don’t follow their own policies on this issue.

“What I have seen over the last year has been nothing short of appalling,” Mackey says. “Tiny, empty closets built and designed solely for the purpose of isolating small children.”

January 13, 2020

Missouri Lawmakers to Crack Down on Seclusion Rooms, Restraint in School

For the second year, legislation aiming to limit the use of seclusion rooms and restraint in Missouri schools has been filed. 

But this year, with Republican support in the GOP-dominated Legislature and more media attention, the chances of it passing appear more promising, backers say.

State Rep. Ian Mackey, D-Richmond Heights, filed the proposal last year. It passed it out of committee but did not make it to the House floor for a vote. This year, Mackey said lawmakers are much more aware of the issue. 

“Isolating kids, and in many cases telling no one, including the parents,” is happening every day in Missouri schools, Mackey said at a press conference promoting the legislation on Monday. 

The legislation defines “seclusion” as the “involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.” It also defines “restraint” as the use of “physical force, with or without the use of any physical device or material, to restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body.” 

“Nearly all of Missouri school districts have a policy in place that’s been adopted by their local board,” Mackey said. “In numerous instances, however, there’ve been violations of these policies.”