In light of disturbing testimonies from New Brunswick families, the Education and Early Childhood development critic for the Official Opposition, Chuck Chiasson, is calling for government to end the use of seclusion rooms and any forms of restraint in schools, and provide adequate resources to support classroom composition.
In a recent news report, a mother shared the painful story of her autistic child being confined to a small a seclusion room when they became agitated. A staff member then held the door shut, trapping the child, until they calmed down.”
“These practices are simply appalling. My heart goes out to every family and every child that has gone through this traumatic experience,” said the MLA for Victoria-La Vallée. “Confining vulnerable children alone in what looks like a storage room until they calm down is not an appropriate way of dealing with these situations.”
With a desperate need for more resource workers in the schools, teachers are often solely responsible for a large group of students with varying needs. Some children with special needs can experience bouts of behavioral issues triggered by a variety of factors. Resource professionals can provide invaluable support to these students, allowing the teacher to focus on teaching.
“There is no question, if we want true and proper inclusion in the classrooms, we need more resource workers and EAs,” said Chiasson. “They play such an important role not only in the proper functioning of the classroom, but also in the lives of these vulnerable children.”