Guidelines on seclusion room use in Alberta schools coming in weeks

Education Minister David Eggen says he wants provincial guidelines on the use of seclusion rooms in Alberta schools to be in place “in a matter of weeks."

Province named in lawsuit involving use of seclusion room in Sherwood Park school

Education Minister David Eggen says he expects new mandatory policies for the use of seclusion rooms to be in place within "a matter of weeks." (CBC)

Education Minister David Eggen says he wants provincial guidelines on the use of seclusion rooms in Alberta schools to be in place within "a matter of weeks."

The minister told reporters in Edmonton on Monday that a working group will come up with binding standards for the use of such rooms.

"We are building the advisory group this week and I expect we will have results very, very quickly," Eggen said. 

Last week, Inclusion Alberta, a group that advocates on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, called on the province to ban or regulate the use of seclusion rooms.

The call for a review follows a lawsuit launched last year by the parents of a Sherwood Park boy, who claim their autistic son was stripped naked and locked in a school isolation room, where he was later found covered in his own feces.

Though the province was named in the lawsuit more than a year ago, Eggen couldn't provide a clear explanation for why the province is taking action now.

However, he did say the case is "helping to precipitate positive change."