Alberta Liberals call for ban of seclusion rooms

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following release on seclusion room reform after the NDP fail to deliver any meaningful action..

Khan stated, “The Alberta Liberals are calling for the ban of seclusion rooms. We take this position after the NDP Government again failed to walk the talk on regulating seclusion rooms. After months of consultation and review, it has merely maintained the status quo. The NDP has not supported affected children and parents in Alberta. This lack of responsible leadership is disappointing and insulting to all Albertans. The NDP Government is failing the most vulnerable young people in our communities by allowing the continued misuse of these rooms.

“Alberta Liberals made it clear there must be definite, province-wide, mandatory, stringent regulations on the use of seclusion rooms. We called for these rules and mandating clear reporting practices last fall. We helped concerned parents organize a demonstration on the steps of the Legislature. We put forward our recommendations. The NDP Government is tone deaf. Alberta Liberals are now taking a strong leadership position by calling for a ban.”

Inclusion Alberta CEO Trish Bowman stated, “The two largest organizations in Alberta representing families of children with disabilities expressed their deep disappointment with the draft guidelines. Alberta Education had changed virtually nothing from the existing guidelines which had already proven to be grossly inadequate and ineffectual.”

Khan added, “These advocates are right to call out the Government. Evidence from other jurisdictions shows guidelines are not enough. Alberta Liberals have come to the conclusion that a province-wide ban is the only solution to the misuse of these draconian practices rooms.

“A seclusion room should never be used to correct behaviour or punish. Schools must be provided the resources to protect students and staff from physical harm. The only way to maintain safety is to properly support teachers and schools with adequate funding for more teachers and educational assistants. In addition, resources must be provided to ensure students with disabilities can be properly included in our public school systems.

“The use of seclusion is not the answer. True inclusion should be a priority for this Government. It is a priority for Alberta Liberals.”