News of a six year old boy with autism allegedly restrained with a weighted vest, belt and ankle straps whilst at school are of huge concern, and an investigation by the Department of Education is welcome, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Allegations that this young boy with autism was restrained will no doubt be stressful for the family and also other members of the community who have children with disability who they are sending to school each day.
“During the senate inquiry into abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability in institutional settings, we heard of instances where mistreatment was happening in schools.
“Late last year, it was recommended by the committee that restrictive practices against children be eliminated as a national priority, with a zero tolerance approach.
“The committee also recommended that parents must be notified should there be an instance of emergency restrictive practice.
“The Government has let dust settle on this recommendation, as well as calls for a Royal Commission into abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability in institutional and residential settings. Whilst that report sits on the shelf, incidences of abuse, violence and neglect continue.
“I urge the Government to implement the recommendations of the inquiry as a matter of urgency”.