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Commission concerned about the safety of children in schools

Human Rights Commission concerned about the safety of children in schools

The Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson, welcomes the Ombudsman's investigation into the use of seclusion in school settings and will assist if needed.

Mr Gibson also supports the Chief Ombudsman's call for the Ministry of Education to issue an advisory notice to schools to cease the use of seclusion rooms.

“It is important for this practice to cease immediately,” Mr Gibson said.

"This sort of thing may be occurring in other schools – it has to stop now. It is unacceptable, ” he said.

“The Commission understands that the Ministry of Education has been looking into the use of seclusion rooms in a second school, as well as Miramar Central.

The Commission has requested copies of both reports from the Ministry. In the interim, the Commission expects the Ministry to be doing everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, and especially disabled children, at the schools concerned.

This includes exploring the full range of interventions available under the Education Act, from requiring the Board to engage specialist help on this topic, to appointing a commissioner, if necessary, to ensure children’s safety at these schools.”

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