(Black Press Media files)

‘Neither rare nor unusual’: 3,600 cases of students with disabilities excluded in B.C.

About 27 per cent of the 3,610 instances were a full day of exclusion

Students with disabilities are being excluded in schools all across B.C., a report from BCEdAccess found.

The not-for-profit, which advocates for children with disabilities in the school system, has been running an online tracker where parents can report when their children are excluded from school events and activities.

As of the end of the 2018/19 school year, it had received 492 reports of 3610 instances where students were excluded from school, including at least one case in each school district in B.C.

“Exclusion of students with disabilities is happening everywhere in BC, in urban and rural districts,” the report read.

“It is neither rare nor unusual.”

Children with autism spectrum disorder were the most excluded by far at 71 per cent reported and students requiring intensive behavioural intervention at 17 per cent reported.

The report broke down the types of exclusion children with disabilities face at B.C. schools.

About 27 per cent of the 3,610 instances were a full day of exclusion, while 18 per cent were four hours.

Some parents reported being asked not to send their child to the first one to four weeks of school, being excluded because of bullying, not allowed on field trips or not being able to take their child to school unless they could stay with the kid all day long.

The report found that even when parents agreed with their child being excluded, they did so believing they had no other options.

While sometimes children were excluded because their support personnel were absent, the report found that 55 per cent of excluded children had their personnel on site and 30 per cent didn’t have support personel in the first place. The society believes that support staff either don’t have enough time or training to work with the students or have a workload so great they cannot get to all their kids.

READ MORE: B.C. education minister says focus is on new curriculum, filling on-call teacher ranks


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