Friday, November 22, 2013

Child restraints – Schools lock children in isolation rooms

Read the report online
A report issued by Inclusion B.C. and the Family Support Institute says more and more families have told them their children are being secluded at school, sometimes in no more than a closet.
The report, "Stop Hurting Kids: Restraint and Seclusion in B.C. Schools," reveals the results of an online survey, which yielded 200 examples of children being left alone in everything from windowless offices, to padded rooms to a gym equipment closet.
There's evidence B.C. children who act out are being confined to small rooms in some schools.

To my mind, this is better than having a gr. 2 child throwing chairs and table at peers. The teacher was forced to evacuate the room with her students. It was frightening. The parents refused to admit the child needed help. There was no aid, as he hadn't been identified being a special needs child. We had
meeting after meeting, trying to be reactive. It was awful. With limited staff, and a school that integrated many special needs students, and aids making a huge difference in the life of our physically, socially and educationally special students, it drained our resources.

We'd informed the parent, who refused to pick the child up. They also refused to allow staff to use the safe room. We were frustrated no end.

What is important, is to have protocol in place.

  • Well-trained teachers, with emergency plans in place for an incident.
  • Remediation must have been attempted.
  • A case conference, including the parent, with information and psychologists in attendance.
  • Parents are informed and requested to pick up the child.
  • Non-violent crisis intervention training for educational assistants, teachers and principals to remove the immediate threat to safety.
  • It has to be the last resort or an interim measure. 
  • What is uppermost in mind, is the safety of the child's peers and the teacher. 

Some blame Educational Assistants, other explain...

It is sad to hear that these rooms are being abused, however, some times time-out rooms are needed. I work with a team of specialist where we will use it if the situation escalates. The families are notified way in advance that this is part of the student's protocol. Schools that do not notify parents of the use of restraints and time out rooms leave themselves liable. 
Be assured we do supervise the student in the time out room and there is a large window. We do not leave them in there for hours and hours. Banning time out rooms will harm staff and other students. The students that go into the room are typically harming staff and other students. When staff can no longer handle the student that is chasing and aggressively physically hurting everyone around them, our last resort will be an isolated room because there are no other objects in the room that can harm the student. 
My co-workers and I have suffered multiple injuries handling specific students. We do care about our students and go above and beyond providing them with things that are not offered home such as a fresh fruits and vegetables, clothing, community outings (when appropriate), and much more. 
I do not agree with using these rooms when it is unnecessary, but some times it is a safety issue. If we let a student attack another student, we would be liable and feel terrible especially sometimes human strength and endurance can only go so far. 
Who goes to work thinking they want to punched, kicked, thrown, stabbed by scissors, and bitten? EAs do this because they are passionate helping students with special needs.


There’s mounting evidence that several B.C. schools are restraining children who act out and putting them in isolation rooms, practices special needs ...
Advocates for special needs students are calling on the B.C. government to ban so-called 'isolation rooms', where they say children deemed 'unruly' are being restrained.

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