Monday, February 15, 2016

School exclusions can give special-needs students the boot — indefinitely

A.J. Munro was out of school for more than two months under an exclusion while a new placement was
worked out for him, according to his parents, Tyler and Laura.
Ontario principals have the power to kick special-needs kids out of school indefinitely if they can’t get the help they need.

Unlike suspensions or expulsions, also permitted by Ontario’s Education Act, “exclusions” have no time limit. Critics charge there is too little oversight from school boards, and the education ministry doesn’t track how often principals use this power. Education experts warn these exclusions can put vulnerable children at a disadvantage.

In some cases, special-needs children who present safety issues have been excluded from school for weeks. In one case, the Star discovered a Grade 4 boy was out of school for at least two and a half months.

Tyler Munro, whose son A.J. has been diagnosed with a learning disability and ADHD, claims A.J.’s exclusion from St. Norbert Catholic School was “a way of avoiding a child with a disability.” Munro says his son was stuck at home while the Toronto Catholic District School Board proposed a plan to deal with him — a move that took two meetings scheduled a month apart to figure out.  (more...)

Is this "inclusion"? Time to look for alternatives:

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