Enforce Guidelines For Timeout In Alberta schools and put an end to seclusion room misuse.

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Seclusion Room Misuse In Schools

The purpose of this petition is to either have seclusion rooms in schools regulated or even better, have them banned altogether. Anyone can relate to this issue but especially people who have children in special education classes. First, consider these following questions:

  • Do you have a child in a special education class because they have autism, add, adhd, odd, or some other behavioral disorder?
  • Does your child's classroom have a seclusion room often called a quiet room or timeout room to make it sound better?
  • Do you know how often your child is put in this room and for what period of time?
  • Is your child left in this room with the door kept closed which is actually a form of confinement which is a seclusion and not really a timeout at all?
  • Is your child made to go in this room against their will for non-emergencies and physically hurt in the process?
  • When your child is in this seclusion room do they act out physically and possibly injure themselves by banging their head against the walls or door?
  • Is your child kept in this seclusion room for extended periods of time even though there is no real reason to do so?
  • Has being put in this seclusion room traumatized your child and made your child's behaviour worse and maybe even caused your child to start to fear confined spaces where there was no such fear prior to being put in this seclusion room?
  • Has your child been humiliated and further degraded by them having to use the washroom in this seclusion room either by necessity or out of retaliation for being put in this room and left in that condition for a period of time enclosed in this room with their own waste in it?
  • Are you informed every time your child is put in this seclusion room and the reason and the length of time?
  • Does your child's school keep accurate documentation regarding these incidents?
  • Do you believe that your child's school is under reporting the incidents of seclusions?
  • Does your child's behaviour seem to be worse since being put in the seclusion room?
  • Does your child not like or trust his/her teacher due to being put in this seclusion room?
  • Does your child's teacher use the seclusion room as a go to for all child discipline instead of focusing on positive behavioral supports and other less restrictive measures?
  • Is your child sent to the seclusion room for non-emergencies such as refusing to do work, disrupting the class, swearing, talking back to the teacher, etc.?
  • Has your child been so traumatized by the use of the seclusion room to the point where they don't feel safe in their classroom and either have great anxiety when having to go to school or refuse to go to school altogether because of the seclusion room?
  • Has the misuse of the seclusion room and/or the lack of proper training of the special education teacher caused your child not to have received the proper education of which they are entitled to as per the School Act?
  • Does your school act as if they don't have to follow any guidelines regarding the use of timeout and that they can do whatever they want and disregard how the seclusion room is affecting the child and your wishes regarding this?
  • Have you submitted in writing to the school that you don't want your child put in the seclusion room and even after that they still did it anyways?
  • Have you requested school student records or log entries to show how many times your child was put in the seclusion room and did the school furnish these records to you as requested or did they try to use stall tactics and only give them when you made your request in writing and followed up on that request or made further written requests?
  • When you received these log entries were there lots of inaccuracies, omissions, and lack of detailed documentation regarding these incidents?
  • Does the school try to retaliate, use intimidation tactics, or even blatantly ignore your concerns and requests regarding your child and his/her quality of education and the use of the seclusion room as a means of evading accountability regarding this?
  • Have you tried to communicate with the teacher, assistant principal, principal, school board district, trustee, etc. and still this issue has not been resolved?
  • Are you just fed up with the lack of transparency and accountability regarding the use of seclusion?

If any of the above rings true for you or outrages you then please sign this petition to be presented to the Minister of Education to promote change and accountability. The guidelines already exist. They just have to be applied province wide and enforced so that every special education student is protected from misuse of these seclusion rooms.

For your reference please refer to the links below:

Guidelines for Using Timeout In Schools by Alberta Education 2002


Supporting Positive Behaviour in Alberta Schools 7 Fair and predictable consequences


Supporting Positive Behaviour in Alberta Schools 10 Individual behaviour support plans


The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders


Current Research Regarding Time-out