Alberta Liberals join with concerned parents to demand immediate changes to Seclusion Rooms policy in Alberta school systems

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann are joining with concerned parents to demand immediate changes to Seclusion Rooms policies in Alberta’s school systems. They are making their voices heard from the steps of the Alberta Legislature on the opening day of the Fall Session..

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan stated, “We are demanding an immediate stop to the misuse of Seclusion Rooms. These incidents have traumatized special needs students and their parents. It is a shocking ongoing practise in Alberta’s school systems. It must not continue.

“We are further demanding that new mandatory province-wide rules governing the use of these seclusion rooms be approved by the NDP Education Minister during the Legislature’s Fall Session. These rules must provide safe, sensible and compassionate direction for school systems on the use of these rooms. The priority should be full communication with parents and a positive outcome for special needs students.”

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr David Swann stated, “Seclusion rooms can be devastating for some students and are counterproductive to helping them address misbehaviour. Seclusions rooms should never be used as a form of punishment or a way to modify student behaviour.

“We are also recommending the creation of a sub-office of the Disability Advocate focused specifically on advocating for and listening to children with disabilities and their parents.”

Jenn Thompson, a mother of a special needs student, is a leading community activist with the Serious Spectrum/Sensory Support Group and co-organizer of the rally.

Thompson stated, “We are calling on the Education Minister to make several immediate changes including mandatory video monitoring of Seclusion Rooms. The videos could be reviewed to determine where the behavioural breakdown occurred so that we can support our students and set them up for success. There must be more funding to properly train school staff in the positive and practical use of Seclusion Rooms. Finally there must be consequences for the misuse of Seclusion Rooms especially in cases where parental consent has not been obtained.”

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