Qualicum’s school board has passed it’s policy on when it’s appropriate to physically restrain a student, as well as a procedure on the removal of sharps (needles) found on SD69 property. — NEWS File Photo

Qualicum school board passes physical restraint policy

Physically restraining a student only allowed in ‘cases of extreme emergency’

School District 69 (Qualicum)’s board has passed third and final reading on a policy and administrative procedure that defines when staff may physically restrain and/or seclude a student.

Passed at the board’s Nov. 27 meeting, the policy was created at the direction of the Ministry of Education (MOE), which required districts to develop local policies and procedures reflecting guidelines provided by the MOE, explained superintendent Rollie Koop in a previous email.

The policy emphasizes that “schools do not support any form of physical restraint or seclusion as an ongoing means of intervention.

“Any intervention that involves physical restraint or seclusion may only be used in cases of extreme emergency where the physical actions of the student threaten to cause harm to self or others.”

It also notes that “less restrictive interventions” have been “ineffective in ending imminent danger of serious physical harm. Physical restraint or seclusion is discontinued once imminent danger or serious self-harm or harm to others has dissipated.”

Further, the policy notes that restraint and seclusion are not to be used as a punishment, discipline, or a method to force compliance in an educational/learning setting.”

For more on the policy and administrative procedure, see bylaw 8009 at www.sd69.bc.ca/Board/Policies-and-Bylaws/Pages/default.aspx.

SHARPS REMOVAL PLAN

SD69’s board also passed its Biohazard Exposure Control Plan – Safe Removal of Sharps (Needles) administrative procedure. It details how found needles should be handled, by whom and under what circumstances.

The plan was prompted by concerns raised at the SD69 Occupational Health and Safety Committee “regarding the possibility of staff and/or students encountering sharps on or around district sites,” said Koop previously.

RELATED: Qualicum school destrict defining when physically restraining a student is OK

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