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(Canada) Edmonton schools use seclusion over 700 times in Sept; mostly for SPED kids

Oct 6, 2019, CBC: Seclusion rooms used over 700 times in 1 month at Edmonton public schools: report A new report from the Edmonton Public School Board shows students were placed in seclusion rooms 716 times in the first month of school, offering the first district-wide view of the controversial practice. EPSB began tracking seclusion room use at the start of the school year, one of multiple changes to the school board since the province launched a review of the practice last October. Previously, the records were retained at the school level. … Students reportedly chose the seclusion room as a way of managing their own behaviour in 468 cases, or 65 percent of the time, according to the report. The report covers seclusion room use from Sept. 3 to 27. In the other 248 cases, the report shows the same 88 students were placed in seclusion rooms as a crisis response to unsafe behaviour. EPSB serves over 105,000 students. … The report notes the board has taken steps to bolster oversight and training since the province launched a review of seclusion rooms last year. The review was launched after a lawsuit was filed by the parents of a Sherwood Park boy with autism, claiming he was stripped naked, locked in an isolation room and found in his own feces. Under new regulations, students in Edmonton public school seclusion rooms must be monitored by trained staff familiar with the student's behaviour at all times. The board also conducted an audit of existing rooms to ensure they conformed to a new set of safety standards…. Most of the seclusion rooms are at schools with specialized programming for students with complex needs or a developmental delay, according to the report. … She added that the 248 reported uses of seclusion rooms as a crisis response over a single month pointed to larger concerns around a lack of support and training in classrooms…. Province looks to finalize seclusion room standards The report comes as the province looks to finalize a new set of standards around the use of seclusion rooms by the end of October. The UCP government repealed a ban on seclusion rooms imposed by the previous NDP government days before it was set to come into force on the first day of classes, Sept. 3. The decision was supported by EPSB, which argued the ban went too far and limited a teacher's ability to safely deal with exceptional classroom circumstances. …
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