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(Canada) Ed minister appoints group to study use of seclusion rooms in Alberta schools

Oct 24, 2018, Sherwood Park (AB) News: Minister appoints group to review seclusion rooms A new eight-member working group will make recommendations to Alberta’s education minister by December on how seclusion is used in schools. The group of parents, health professionals and teachers are tasked with drafting new guidelines and identifying best practices on how schools should use isolation rooms, restraint and timeouts. “It’s my view that seclusion rooms should only be used as a last resort and with student safety as the top priority,” Minister David Eggen said in a written statement last Friday…. Eggen had said that he wanted to see changes “within weeks” to the existing guidelines. The issue of confining students came to the fore in September, when a Sherwood Park student and his parents sued the Elk Island Public Schools board and staff at Clover Bar School on Main Street. The family alleges that staff locked a 12-year-old boy with autism naked in an isolation room for at least 45 minutes, where he became covered in feces…. More than 600 people responded to the survey, Inclusion Alberta CEO Trish Boyman said last Friday — a number she found “alarming.” Some families said children were put into seclusion daily or weekly, she said. Most often, the children were between the ages of five and 10, and the stories came from school districts all over the province, Bowman said.

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