Search

(Canada) Sherwood Park AL teacher assaulted by student; call for isolation room use

Updated: Sep 23, 2018

Sept 20, 2018, CBC: Teacher assaulted in school calls on province to review classroom safety https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-isolation-rooms-classroom-pamela-orr-1.4830645 Pamela Orr says a classroom assault by a special needs student in 2010 brought an end to her teaching career If used properly, rooms in schools to isolate children with behavioural problems can be helpful to special needs students and staff, says a former teacher whose career ended after she was violently attacked in her classroom. The controversial practice of placing students in isolation rooms was raised last week when CBC News reported that two Sherwood Park parents have launched a lawsuit alleging their 12-year-old autistic son was stripped naked and locked in an isolation room, where he was later found covered in his own feces. Pamela Orr said she was violently assaulted in her own classroom in February 2010 by a 17-year-old special needs student. … She called on the province to conduct a review of special needs education that would take into account the issue of staff safety. "We need to rethink all of special education," said Orr. "This is not about crisis intervention, this is not about hiring more EAs, because that's just a Band-Aid. "We're not talking about the children who need some minimal interventions. We are talking about students who have, for whatever reason, whatever special needs, they have the potential to kill someone Orr said governments must set standards for student-teacher ratios, and for staff training…. The use of isolation rooms came to public attention last week after the media reported on a lawsuit launched against Alberta's education minister, the Elk Island Public School board and staff members at Clover Bar Junior High School in Sherwood Park…. Orr said "99 per cent" of students are non-violent. She misses her life as a teacher, and daily contact with students. "I don't want to see this happen to anyone else," she said. Isolation rooms can work, she said, if used properly. "It's just time for [students] to calm down, or read a book, so they can get integrated back into the class," she said. "You absolutely have to have a supervisor in there with them, who is trained to calm that child down."