(Pixabay.com)

Kids still being locked up, held down in B.C. schools: advocacy group

Inclusion BC says 170 parents, guardians reported their kids had been restrained or secluded

An advocacy group says children in B.C. are still being held down and confined in locked rooms, despite calls to change how educators address student behaviour.

Inclusion BC says it surveyed 170 parents and guardians who reported their kids had been restrained or secluded during the 2016-17 school year, and the vast majority of the students had special needs.

Faith Bodnar, the group’s executive director, said they heard about a child who was put in a plastic storage bin, another who was tied to a chair, and students who were locked in seclusion rooms for up to three hours.

The findings released Wednesday follow the group’s 2013 report on how restraint and seclusion were being used to address student behaviour in B.C. schools, which prompted calls for change.

Bodnar said she’s shocked that the practices continue without clear guidelines, and she’s wants the province to ban restraint and seclusion, except when personal safety is at risk.

Children in poverty: Breakfast programs help children focus on school

Education Minister Rob Flemming said he has reviewed the report and the government will make sure all school districts implement guidelines by the end of the year.

The provincial government brought in guidelines in 2015 aimed at helping school boards create policies for seclusion and restraint, including training for educators.

The Inclusion BC report says only one in three school boards across the province has policies in place. Creating clear, mandatory guidelines is necessary to protect children, Bodnar said.

“There are no regulatory standards for them,” she said. “There’s no oversight.”

The report also says only 19 per cent of caregivers surveyed reported that the school “always” or “usually” informed them of a restraint. All incidents should be documented and communicated to parents, Bodnar said.

Flemming said clear lines of reporting are needed between teachers, school districts and parents.

The incidents highlighted in the report are not isolated, Bodnar said, and “really severe, awful things” are happening to children at B.C. schools.

Flemming said the situations are “exceedingly rare,” but it’s disturbing that they happen at all.

“As a parent and as an education minister, I’m very disappointed to hear that there are individual stories that have been compiled in this report that are, frankly, unacceptable in a B.C. school setting,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Louise Baxter found after 72 hour search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

Nelson architecture firm to redesign Arrow Lakes Hospital

Cover Architecture Collaborative will work on the hospital’s emergency department

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Volunteers sought for weed pull at Summit Lake Provincial Park

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society is looking for help next week

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read