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The first survey to find out how often schools use seclusion rooms and restraints

Published Friday, September 14, 2018 10:00 am

Inclusion Alberta launches province-wide survey to find out how often schools use seclusion rooms and restraints

September 14, 2018 (Edmonton, AB) - Inclusion Alberta wants to hear from parents and families who have had children restrained and/or secluded at school. A new survey launching today will help gather reports of such incidents at schools across Alberta. This survey will provide the first-ever overview on the use of seclusion and restraint in Alberta schools. 

While Alberta Education has guidelines on the use of seclusion and physical restraints, these guidelines are not being enforced. School districts are not being held accountable. No provincial records are kept as to how seclusion and physical restraints are being used or their impact on the emotional well-being of students. The use of these procedures, based on parent reports, appears to be increasing. 
 
“We are deeply concerned about how seclusion and restraints are being used in schools and their impact on children with developmental disabilities. We are aware of children who have been locked in isolation rooms for lengthy periods of time and others that have experienced emotional trauma from being physically restrained or secluded,” said Trish Bowman, CEO of Inclusion Alberta.
 
Alberta Education does not monitor the use of seclusion or restraints or whether schools and school districts adhere to its policy on the use of time out rooms. As a consequence, no one in Alberta knows to what degree physical restraint and seclusion are being used, how they are being used or their impact on students with disabilities.

“The time for immediate action has passed,” said Bruce Uditsky, CEO Emeritus of Inclusion Alberta and the father of an adult son with developmental disabilities.

“Every day the government fails to act leaves students with disabilities vulnerable to abuse and harm when they have as much right to safety and security as any other student. We believe the Alberta government has a moral obligation to stand up for students with disabilities and at the very least regulate, if not ban, the use of seclusion rooms for students with disabilities.”

All families who have had children placed in seclusion or isolation rooms or have been physically restrained are encouraged to fill out the survey. The results of the survey will be used by Inclusion Alberta in our continuing efforts to have Alberta Education ensure children with disabilities feel safe and secure at school while being properly and positively supported to learn. Our hope is to end the use of restraint and seclusion as punishments for children with disabilities. 

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Jeff Samsonow, Communications Coordinator, Inclusion Alberta

jsamsonow@inclusionalberta.org | 780-451-3055 ext 422 

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