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Edmonton public schools plan to add 25 more seclusion rooms despite making previous promises to phase them out.

Despite previous pledges to phase out seclusion rooms, Edmonton Public Schools are moving forward with plans to add 25 more of these rooms by the next school year, bringing the total to 192 across 214 public schools in the city.

These rooms are intended for students with disabilities whose behavior poses risks to themselves or others.

Advocates for disabled students have voiced concerns over the frequency of seclusion room use, with reports indicating that students are placed in these rooms more than nine times daily on average. This has raised questions about why there are so many crises happening and whether the rooms are being used appropriately.

“Every day that this keeps happening, there's kids who are going to be paying for this for the rest of their lives.”- Sarah Doll, who has two children on the autism spectrum.

Seclusion rooms are meant to provide a safe environment for students during behavioral emergencies. However, critics argue that their excessive use may reflect broader issues within the educational system, such as inadequate support for students with disabilities or insufficient training for school staff.

In 2019 the then NDP government decided to ban the seclusion rooms, then when UCP was elected they reversed the ban and introduced standards for use of seclusions and restraint in schools.

A School Bus.