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(Canada) Alberta bans school seclusion rooms; exemptions available

Mar 1, 2019, Edmonton Journal: Alberta school seclusion-room ban to take effect in fall, education minister—All school boards across the province must submit a list of schools with a seclusion room and ensure they are decommissioned by August 30. https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/education-minister-bans-seclusion-rooms-in-alberta-schools Seclusion rooms will be banned in schools across the province before the start of the next school year. Education Minister David Eggen signed a ministerial order Friday morning forbidding schools from using isolation rooms, but providing the opportunity for school districts to apply for an exemption. … But, school districts will have the ability to apply for exemptions based on individual students if they can demonstrate support from the student’s parents. “What we need to do is have a more systematic way to approach this,” Eggen said. “Building individual personal plans fit for students, fit for parents and for schools as well.” … All school districts across the province must submit a list of schools with a seclusion room and ensure they are decommissioned by Aug. 30. The ministry will conduct on-site inspections to ensure compliance. There will also be training opportunities for teachers and support staff, Eggen said. … “We know parents can be coerced into agreeing to these practices in order to keep their child in school and this cannot be allowed to continue, not should requesting seclusion be reason in and of itself for an exemption,” Bowman said in a statement. A 2018 Inclusion Alberta survey with more than 400 responses from families whose children were secluded or restrained in schools found 80 per cent of the children were between the ages of five and 10 and more than half were on the autism spectrum. …