Seclusion Rooms: Statement from Minister Eggen

Education Minister David Eggen issued the following statement regarding the use of seclusion, time out and physical restraint in schools:

“Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Marcy Oakes – one of the parents who is serving on the working group I’ve appointed on the use of seclusion, (isolation) rooms time out, and physical restraint in schools. Marcy shared with me the urgency of this work, and I couldn’t agree more.

“As a parent and a teacher myself, I’ve frankly been disturbed – as is our Premier – by some of the things parents are sharing about their family’s experiences with seclusion rooms in Alberta schools. We can, will, and must do better for our kids. The status quo is simply unacceptable as all children’s safety and well-being is important.

“Seclusion or isolation should only ever be used as a last resort in a crisis situation. These rooms should never be used to confine, punish, or humiliate students. While we value the hard work of teachers and administrators, it’s become clear that better guidelines and accountability are needed on this issue.

“That’s why I appointed this group of parents, teachers and experts to advise me on drafting strict new guidelines for the use of seclusion in Alberta schools. I was pleased to hear from Marcy that this group has made good progress at their meetings this week. I look forward to seeing recommendations in the coming weeks.”