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From December 1-3, we're celebrating the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Film festivals will be held in 5 locations across BC. Stay tuned for details!

Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

Stop Hurting Kids: Survey Results


The following information are key points from the survey.

  • Approximately  200 parents or legal guardians completed the survey from all areas of the province
  • While approximately 300 people began the survey, respondents who did not self-identify as parents or legal guardians were excluded from the survey.
  • Twice as many of the students were male than female


An average of 65 responded to all questions on the use of restraint.

  •  Age distribution of children subjected to restraint:

5-10 years -41
11-13 years-14
14-19 years-4
All of the above-12

  • Forms of restraint reported included:
  • seated hold
  • vertical hold
  • prone and supine holds
  • wheelchair straps around legs and seatbelt
  • wrestling hold with pressure
  •  teacher held him down-“he was only 7 years old”
  •  holding wrists by one person and being physically pushed into a room by another individual
  • teacher using body to keep the student in a corner and not letting him pass
  • grabbed on arms and held. Received scratches and bruising
  • dragged by the wrists
  • physically pushed into a room
  •  chair pushed up against (child’s) legs of the chair he was in, one adult on each side
  • star hold performed by 3 adults to an 8 year old
  • twisting arms behind the back of a student by two adults
  • being yelled at while forcibly held in a chair
  •  lights out, alone in room, door closed
  • Half of the respondents reported the use of prolonged physical isolation   as a form of physical restraint, for example being forced to stay in a locked lunch room without supervision.
  •  The primary educational settings where children are restrained include:
  • resource rooms
  • closets
  • isolation rooms
  • stairwells and hallways
  • principals or vice principals office
  • sensory rooms
  • therapy rooms
  • classrooms
  • The majority reported duration of restraint as between 5-30 minutes followed by 1-3 hours
  •  Special education assistants were reported as being the most common individual to participate in or be aware of the restraint, followed by special education teacher, resource teacher then school administrators (principal/vice principals)
  •  Nearly half of all respondents reported physical injury or obvious signs of physical pain occurred during restraint
  • More than three quarters reported emotional trauma

  • Approximately one third of respondents said that they were rarely informed by the school principal, vice principal, teacher or education assistant and almost never in writing (96%).
  •  72% reported that they received the information through someone other than the school.  For example, one parent found an anonymous note on their car, others happened to walk into the school while the restraint was occurring.
  • Most respondents did not consent to the use of restraint.- 64%
  • 80% of respondents said that they raised concerns about the restraint and were not satisfied with the response.
  • When asked whether or not the child has a behaviour support plan at the school 56% responded yes.


  • An average of 100 responded to questions on seclusion
  • Most (84%)reported that the child was physically prevented from leaving by an authority figure and many reported that the door was locked

“Sent out alone, unsupervised for others to see and feel full humiliation”

“Not permitted to go with his group to a weekly out of school dance class because he was too “slow” getting ready”

“It was in a certain area of the resource room, surrounded on all sides by furniture”

“Taken to a resource room and told to stay there or there would be punishment for leaving. She was left alone in this room at the age of 7. In the classroom this child and two other special needs children had their desk placed at the back of the classroom. In a corner.”

“Cardboard carrel built around him”

“A closed door is a locked door to the child”

  • Reported duration of seclusion

5-30 minutes – 25%
30 min-1 hr – 22%
1-3 hours – 16%
More than 3 hours – 10%

  • 20% report this as a daily occurrence with  56% reporting once in a while, happened only once, not this year or not sure due to lack of documentation.

  • An astounding  79% of respondents reported emotional trauma and 18% reported physical injury or pain.
  • Other adverse reactions:

 “The room had a phone, so he dialed 911”

“She has not learned to be around others and included amongst peers”

“Humiliation, breaking his spirit, created anger, resistance, not wanting to be at school or near the teacher-fear”

“Ostracized by peers, grades fell dramatically. Also started coming home in the middle of the day, extreme behaviour changes due to being overwhelmed, and we as his parents were never informed by the school of the seclusion”

“My daughter would be quite upset with her time outside as it was extended too long and in terrible weather and there has been a lot of crying when dropping off at school and picking her up”

“Acting out; loneliness; sadness; losing friendships and social skills; forgotten by previous children for birthday”

“Self harm”

“Emotional trauma that caused anxiety which led to an increase in seizures”

“Increased school aversion, hopelessness, depression, decreasing self confidence and self worth, …..targeting of parents”

“Head banging, hitting herself”

“Few to no social opportunities, no chance to build self-esteem, no chance to build resilience, no chance for peers to see his strengths, no feeling of being valued in his community; no reason to participate in grad as he knows no one and they don’t know him; little to no chance to build conversation skills/cooperation”

  • A high number (60) said they were rarely or never informed by the school principal, vice principal, teacher or education assistant and almost never in writing (95).
  • 58 reported they received the information through someone other than the school.
  • Most respondents did not consent to seclusion – 80%
  • 68% raised concerns about the seclusion and 92% were not satisfied with the response.

  • The survey asked whether the respondent, because of restraint or seclusion has removed a child from school. 47% of those who answered this question responded yes, indicating that 49 children were removed from the public school system due to restraint and seclusion.
  • Individuals were invited to contact Karen De Long at Inclusion BC if they wished to share their story. 9 families did contact the office.