(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

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

Shuswap tow truck operator sees high number of collisions this summer

Drivers encouraged to “loosen up behind the wheel, smarten up and read the road”

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Most Read