“To keep our son safe, we removed him from school three years ago.” – Survey participant
This is a statement that should never be heard about British Columbia’s public school system. As organizations that work to support people with developmental disabilities, children and youth with special needs and their families in British Columbia, we are frequently contacted with parents’ concerns about their children’s access to truly inclusive public education. A recurring issue that has emerged, time and again, has been the use of restraint and seclusion on students attending school in our province.
All students deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The families who reported incidents of restraint and seclusion also reported that such practices are traumatizing and caused long-lasting physical and emotional harm to the students who were subjected to them.
A growing campaign to end restraint and seclusion in the United States, “Stop Hurting Kids,” notes that “for too long students … have been at risk of restraint and seclusion techniques that have been proven to hold no educational or
therapeutic value, despite evidence-based, positive alternatives.”
In order to gain a broader view of the experiences of students across the province with restraint and seclusion, our organizations created a web-based survey to collect the experiences of parents and guardians. The survey was anonymous and open to responses from June 6 – July 19, 2013.
See below to download the full report.