(Pixabay.com)

Kids still being locked up, held down in B.C. schools: advocacy group

Inclusion BC says 170 parents, guardians reported their kids had been restrained or secluded

An advocacy group says children in B.C. are still being held down and confined in locked rooms, despite calls to change how educators address student behaviour.

Inclusion BC says it surveyed 170 parents and guardians who reported their kids had been restrained or secluded during the 2016-17 school year, and the vast majority of the students had special needs.

Faith Bodnar, the group’s executive director, said they heard about a child who was put in a plastic storage bin, another who was tied to a chair, and students who were locked in seclusion rooms for up to three hours.

The findings released Wednesday follow the group’s 2013 report on how restraint and seclusion were being used to address student behaviour in B.C. schools, which prompted calls for change.

Bodnar said she’s shocked that the practices continue without clear guidelines, and she’s wants the province to ban restraint and seclusion, except when personal safety is at risk.

Children in poverty: Breakfast programs help children focus on school

Education Minister Rob Flemming said he has reviewed the report and the government will make sure all school districts implement guidelines by the end of the year.

The provincial government brought in guidelines in 2015 aimed at helping school boards create policies for seclusion and restraint, including training for educators.

The Inclusion BC report says only one in three school boards across the province has policies in place. Creating clear, mandatory guidelines is necessary to protect children, Bodnar said.

“There are no regulatory standards for them,” she said. “There’s no oversight.”

The report also says only 19 per cent of caregivers surveyed reported that the school “always” or “usually” informed them of a restraint. All incidents should be documented and communicated to parents, Bodnar said.

Flemming said clear lines of reporting are needed between teachers, school districts and parents.

The incidents highlighted in the report are not isolated, Bodnar said, and “really severe, awful things” are happening to children at B.C. schools.

Flemming said the situations are “exceedingly rare,” but it’s disturbing that they happen at all.

“As a parent and as an education minister, I’m very disappointed to hear that there are individual stories that have been compiled in this report that are, frankly, unacceptable in a B.C. school setting,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

UBC study shows dairy cows prefer pasture, reap health benefits from outdoor access

With freshet season in full swing, Fraser Valley dairy farmers might be… Continue reading

Fraser Valley Children’s Choir wins first in ‘Sing Me a Song’ contest’s under 18 category

The group will be visited by B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, who will present them with their award

VIDEO: Dash cam video captures allegedly stolen vehicle in Harrison Hot Springs

RCMP report a vehicle was stolen in Chilliwack May 17, spotted in Harrison and dumped in Deroche

Freshet of 2018 evokes memories of the flood of 1948

And while the devastation of 70 years ago informs flood protection now, similar event not predicted

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Letter to the editor: Put our great grandchildren first

I am shocked how media is using their power to create stories… Continue reading

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Vancouver, Squamish pipeline challenges dismissed by court in B.C.

Justice Christopher Grauer ruled the province’s decision to issue the certificate was reasonable

Early learning programs for Indigenous kids get $30M boost

B.C. government to help expand Aboriginal Head Start Association programs with three-year funding

Ferry sailing cancelled after ship’s second officer falls ill

Coastal Inspiration’s 8:15 p.m. sailing to Nanaimo on Tuesday cancelled, passengers to be compensated

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

Most Read