Alberta to ban seclusion or time-out rooms for students in schools
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 22, 2019 4:37PM EST
EDMONTON -- Alberta Education Minister David Eggen says the province will ban the use of seclusion or time-out rooms for students in schools.
Problems with seclusion rooms surfaced last September when the parents of an autistic boy filed a lawsuit against the province.
The lawsuit claims the boy was locked in a seclusion room, naked and alone, at his Sherwood Park school in 2015.
Since then, parents and advocates of children with disabilities have been calling for a ban.
Eggen says seclusion rooms must be decommissioned by the 2019-2020 school year.
The minister shared the news with a group of educators and parents that have been working to find a solution to seclusion rooms.
"I am deeply concerned by some of the things that parents and students are sharing about their family's experiences with seclusion rooms," Eggen said in an email Friday.
"We can and must do better for our kids. That is why I am making the move to ban the use of seclusion rooms in Alberta through a Ministerial Order."
Eggen said the province will monitor how school boards comply with the decision.
Premier Rachel Notley said the government's decision comes after a lot of consultation with experts.
"It's not my view that that is an appropriate way to deal with any special needs child," she said. "So I'm glad that Minister Eggen has moved forward on that."
Notley said the government must now work with school boards to ensure that they have what they need to ensure the safety of other students and staff.