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Staff Report Blocker Shields

Staff Report Blocker Shields

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Published by Caroline Smith
Report from staff on blocker shields - to go to SCDSB Board May 20, 2012
Report from staff on blocker shields - to go to SCDSB Board May 20, 2012

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Published by: Caroline Smith on Jun 11, 2012
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PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012_ __ __ TO: The Chairperson and Members of the Program Standing Committee Superintendent of Education


SUBJECT: CONSULTATION AND REVIEW OF THE USE OF FOAM PADS (BLOCKER SHIELDS)____________________________________ 1. Background At the March 28, 2012, regular meeting of the Board, it was approved that the Board refer the issue identified by the SEAC motion as set out in Report No. D-3-a, Special Education Advisory Committee - Time Sensitive Motion – March 19, 2012, (APPENDIX A) to senior staff to review the concerns raised regarding the use of blocker shields with students, to consult with SEAC, parents, staff, and the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and to seek input from community partners and to prepare a report updating the Program Standing Committee in June 2012. 2. Current Status Concerns regarding the use of foam pads were first expressed in March 2012 when a photograph taken anonymously of staff carrying the foam pads while accompanying students on a regular community excursion was shared with a media member and posted to Twitter and then shortly afterwards shown at the March 19, 2012 Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting. Staff has used different forms of foam pads since the spring of 2010 to support safety from time to time involving a small number of students in a small number of schools. The vast majority of students with special needs, including those with autism accept responsibility for a safe learning environment and are held accountable for their actions. However, a very small number of students have uncontrollable behaviours that are directly related to their diagnosed medical, neurological or developmental condition and, in some cases, these behaviours can present an on-going safety risk, including a risk of injury to themselves or others. The provision of special education programs and services to students by school boards is subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protect students from discrimination on the basis of disability. The Code requires that students with disabilities be accommodated to the point of undue hardship in the provision of educational services, such that each student must be provided with an individualized program, that maximizes the students’ integration with peers and respects the student’s dignity. Boards accommodate students by providing individualized programming and instruction from qualified, trained staff, in an environment modified to meet the student’s needs. The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Education Act require that employers (school boards) and supervisors (school principals) assess risks to safety regularly and respond to reduce risks for all students and staff. This might require providing workers (school staff) with the training and procedures to help control the identified risks.

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012_- 2 ___

The Occupational Health and Safety Act also requires that, where these safety risks can be eliminated or reduced through the use or wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), this equipment must be provided and used by staff. Protective equipment in schools includes equipment, devices, or clothing to protect a student or staff member from injury during the course of daily activities. It is specific to a staff member’s need for protection when working with particular students. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: lifting equipment for students with mobility issues, helmets for student head protection, special sleeves and shin guards for protection against pinching, biting, and kicking, padded vests or shields for protection against punches, eye/face guards for protection from bodily fluids, padded mats to protect a student from self-injury against walls or a staff member from hits and kicks, and hair nets for protection against grabs and pulls. Behaviour Management Systems (BMS) recently sent a survey to their key contacts in school boards asking about their use of foam protective shields. Of the 21 surveys returned, three boards confirmed that they use “blocker shields” and seven boards stated that they use some form of foam blockers such as individual gym mats. Protective equipment allows the student to attend and benefit from a school program. The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has provided staff with a comprehensive range of training related to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) over the past five years (APPENDIX B). These training sessions for administrators, teachers and educational assistants have been offered at central locations including the Education Centre, as well as site-based Professional Development at schools. In addition, the SCDSB has partnered with Kinark to offer after-school sessions for parents and teachers on a variety of topics. In cooperation with the Mother Risk FASD Clinic at the Sick Kids Hospital, a training session was offered to staff who then had the opportunity to provide feedback on their resource for educators. The Board has also provided between 20 and 30 spaces for Geneva Centre training each summer for the past five years. This year, two SCDSB staff members have had proposals accepted by the Geneva Centre to provide Summer Institute training. In order to address issues regarding injurious behaviour, the Board has utilized the protocol and training model developed by Behaviour Management Systems (BMS), an organization that provides training to support school based staff and other educators who must address injurious behaviour exhibited by students. BMS describes the stages of its protocol as follows: “The primary emphasis is prevention and non-physical interventions. Knowing the child, acting on early warning signs, and the effective use of calming and de-escalation techniques are some key strategies. The secondary emphasis is defensive techniques (avoidance, releases, blocks) coupled with calming and de-escalation techniques. The tertiary emphasis is safe restraint methods (an absolute last resort rarely required by most staff) coupled with calming and de-escalation techniques.” When students with complex needs present with behaviours that cause a safety concern towards themselves and others, school staff implement two sets of strategies and interventions. The first strategy implemented is to attempt to understand the function of the behaviour and the second strategy used is to manage the behaviour in a way that maximizes safety. Strategies used to understand behaviour include tracking of behaviour using the Functional Behaviour Analysis (FBA) approach.

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012 – 3____

This attempts to highlight the triggers or antecedents and the consequences of a particular behaviour. When the purpose of the behaviour can be identified, the environment and the program may be adjusted to reduce the incidence of the behaviour. For example, a FBA approach often demonstrates that a student responds well to a routine and predictable schedule and therefore transitions within the school day are carefully planned to reduce student anxiety and agitation. In some circumstances, it is very difficult to either identify the conditions that may lead to a particular behaviour or to change the environment in such a way that the behaviour is eliminated. If a student demonstrates escalated behaviour that can cause a risk of injury, staff typically respond by providing the student with space and allowing him/her time to de-escalate. This strategy is successful in many situations. In some circumstances, with a small number of students, this strategy is not successful, and situations result with students demonstrating potentially injurious behaviour towards themselves and others. In the SCDSB, we train staff using BMS for the management of student behaviour. The BMS approach includes defensive techniques such as attempts to avoid or block punches or kicks and other behaviours using their bodies. This protocol also includes the use of physical restraints as an option when this defensive approach will not work or where the student behaviour is presenting other risks. The use of protective equipment is also included in the BMS protocol. While these interventions are usually successful in managing the behaviour to ensure safety, some students do not respond to this approach for a variety of reasons. Attempting a physical restraint can further escalate the behaviour of some students and make such a restraint difficult and potentially unsafe. Our protocol emphasizes using physical restraint (only as a last resort) for a short period and then releasing. In some cases, this process needs to be continued for a long period of time, which presents the risk of injury to the student and to the staff members performing the restraint. In addition, we have some students whose size and strength means that physical restraints are neither effective nor possible. With a small number of students foam pads have been effective as an alternative to physical restraint, by allowing the student to deescalate while preventing self-injurious behaviour. For example, some students with complex needs may hit their head on the wall or floor. The pads are sometimes used to cushion a blow to the head. In other circumstances, foam pads are used to block hits, kicks, and thrown objects to keep staff and others relatively protected when the student’s behaviour is highly escalated. As with other forms of intervention, the use of foam pads is discontinued when the injurious behaviours are eliminated or minimized. For all students who have presented with these types of behaviours there has been a high level of involvement by school special education staff, central board staff, and in some cases community supports and external health professionals. There is always a focus on understanding the function of the behaviour so that the program and the environment can be adjusted to reduce or replace the behaviours of concern. The process of collecting and analysing data through Behaviour Logs and FBAs, adjusting programs, and working with parents and others to stabilize behaviour is on-going and all interventions are reviewed and monitored regularly. When an intervention is no longer required, it is discontinued as part of the process of the review of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Safety Plans.

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012_- 4___

We have several students who have, at one time, presented with very challenging behaviours that presented a risk of injury to themselves and others. With these students, a range of strategies and interventions have been used to reduce and to manage these behaviours, based upon the individual student need. We have experienced considerable success with our approach with some students who are now meeting with greater academic and social success in the most inclusive environment possible to meet their needs. 3. Consultation Process In response to the motion that Trustees ratified at the March 28, 2012 Board meeting, for senior staff to review the concerns raised regarding the use of blocker shields, senior staff developed a consultation process designed to be procedurally fair and transparent. The consultation sessions to share information on the use of protective equipment, including foam pads, to ensure safety for students and staff and to gather input, took place in May and the beginning of June. Information shared at the consultation sessions included: Context and Objectives, Legislated Compliance and Strategies to Protect Students and Staff (APPENDIX C). Input gathered at consultation sessions as well as through submissions forwarded to Associate Director Medysky was reviewed by an administrative team including Associate Director Medysky, Superintendent Hili, Superintendent Jeffs, Principal Gumbrell and Senior Safety Officer Quinlan. Consultation Meeting • Joint Health and Safety Committee Meeting • • • • • • • Community Stakeholders Consultation Meeting Student Senate Meeting Regional Principals’ Meetings Parent Involvement Committee Meeting Special Education Advisory Committee Consultation Staff Consultation Meeting School Council Meetings Date May 8, 2012 May 10, 2012 May 15, 2012 May 16, 17, 18, 2012 May 16, 2012 May 17, 2012 June 4, 2012 May 29, 2012 May, 2012


Consultation Findings As a result of the extensive consultation process, a significant amount of feedback has been obtained from parents, community, staff and students. APPENDIX D (Summary of Feedback from Consultation Sessions) provides a summary of the input received at consultation sessions and from written submissions. Included in APPENDIX D are those comments and recommendations relevant to the issue of blocker shields.

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012_- 5_____ There are several consistent themes which exist in the comments: Communication It is essential that communication regarding all aspects of a student’s program, including the use of any personal protective equipment be reviewed with parents/guardians regularly. Such aspects of a student’s program should be documented in Strengths and Needs Committee (SNC) notes, IEP, and Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) notes as well as in individual student safety plans. The utilization of such equipment is viewed as part of a student’s program and modifications to a student’s program should not be made without parent(s)/guardian(s) consultation. Monitoring and Review The program for each individual student should be reviewed on a regular basis. The use of any personal protective equipment should be part of that review to determine the necessity of its use. Explore Alternatives Board and school staff should explore alternatives to the use of personal protective equipment. This should include consultation with providers of equipment, other school boards and agencies. Educate the Public The portrayal of board staff in the media has been damaging. The community should be educated about programs which are provided by the SCDSB. The optics of the blocker shields being used in the community has brought negative attention to both students and staff. Balance The need to protect the dignity of all students in an inclusive environment free of discrimination and any form of stigma must be balanced with the responsibility of providing a safe working and learning environment for staff and students. Findings from the consultation process also include a number of suggestions or recommendations. As will be seen further in this report, several of these have already been acted upon. Recommendations received through the consultation process include the following: • • • • • • • • A review of the program(s) and individual student behavior management plans is necessary; Involve agencies and organizations when reviewing programs; they have expertise and are willing to assist; Consult with other school boards to determine evidence-based best practices throughout the province; When reviewing the program include all aspects: the facility; overall physical environment; strategies, scheduling and equipment; Determine the necessary qualifications for staff; Provide further necessary training for staff; Monitor and supervise staff with a view to developing best practices; Continue to develop further partnerships with the community.

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012- 6____

Board staff appreciate the considerable input that was received from parents, students, agencies, community members and school staff. This input will most certainly inform the next steps in regard to this issue. 5. Next Steps 1. Continue to partner with agencies and other school boards including: Behaviour Management Systems, Kerry’s Place, members of the Simcoe County Coalition, Autism Ontario, and the Geneva Centre for Autism to examine evidence-based best practices and to explore alternatives to the use of personal protective equipment. Collaborate with the Geneva Centre for Autism to develop a transition program for extended learning in Simcoe County to support students between the ages of 17-21 years, with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This program would emphasize both a multi-disciplinary approach to community-based experiential learning and a collaborative service delivery model for transition planning to the adult world. In consultation with the parent(s)/guardian(s) and supporting agency/organization as appropriate, review all individual student programs where foam pads are currently in use. Ensure that the Individual Education Plans and Safety Plans for these students are updated to reflect the use of personal protective equipment and reviewed appropriately. Advise school principals to return all personal protective equipment not in use to the special education department by June 30, 2012. Develop a protocol for personal protective equipment including foam pads as an appendix to Administrative Procedures Memorandum (APM) A1435Management Process For Student Behaviours Causing A Risk-Of-Injury to include: review of notes from the Strengths and Needs Committee, Identification Placement and Review Committee, the development of the Individual Education Plan and the Safety Plan; all aspects of the current program including facilities, physical environment, strategies, schedule, cohort of students and equipment; as well as the monitoring and review process in consultation with parent(s)/guardian(s). Continue to consult with providers of personal protective equipment to ensure that the equipment meets the needs of the educational setting, along with developing a procurement process and inventory system for personal protective equipment. Ensure that personal protective equipment outlined in the Safety Plan and related to the Individual Education Plan is available for occasional staff. Explore and initiate further specialized training through the Geneva Centre for Autism for all Educational Assistants assigned to the ASD County Classes and identify a cohort of occasional teachers to receive this training. Continue to review working conditions for staff assigned to ASD County Classes.









REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 JUNE 13, 2012- 7____


Continue to review the current class size cap in Secondary School ASD County Classes. Effective September 2012, the Principal of Special Education and the Senior Health and Safety Officer will meet monthly to review and monitor Aggressive Incident Reports and schedule follow-up meetings with the school principal as needed.



Report Status This report is provided for information.

Respectfully submitted by: Phyllis Hili Superintendent of Education Janis Medysky Associate Director

June 13, 2012

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 APPENDIX A JUNE 13, 2012_______

REPORT NO. D-3-a MARCH 28, 2012____ TO: The Chairperson and Members of the Simcoe County District School Board Superintendent of Education SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE –TIME SENSITIVE MOTION, MARCH 19, 2012___________________________________________________



Background At the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting of March 19, 2012, SEAC members discussed concerns regarding the use of blocker shields with students. Below is the time sensitive motion, which was approved by SEAC members on March 19, 2012: That the Special Education Advisory Committee Recommends that the Board cease use of all Blocker Shields with students as they negatively impact on the dignity and human rights of the students and create a negative social message which promotes fear and exclusion.


Status At the SEAC Meeting of March 19, 2012, SEAC Members also approved the following motion: That SEAC gives authority to Laura LaChance to present the time sensitive motion regarding the use of Blocker Shields to the Board on March 28, 2012.

RECOMMENDATION That the Board approve that the Board cease use of all Blocker Shields with students as they negatively impact on the dignity and human rights of the students and create a negative social message which promotes fear and exclusion, as set out in Report No. D-3-a, Special Education Advisory Committee – Time Sensitive Motion, March 19, 2012, dated March 28, 2012.

Respectfully submitted by: Phyllis Hili Superintendent of Education Approved for submission by: Kathryn Wallace Director of Education March 28, 2012

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 APPENDIX B JUNE 13, 2012_______

2010-2011 Professional Development/Training Sessions Focused on and Supporting the Application of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Functional Behaviour Analysis (FBA) Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS) Reinforcement Data Collection Interactive Tool for Improving Individual Education Plans (IEPs) Social Skills Prompting ABA and the IEP Tools for Self Regulation Increasing Visual Supports Ziggurat Model: Planning Comprehensive Behavioural Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders Transitions Planning Inventory Programming for Students in Elementary and Secondary County Classes Professional Collaboration Sites (Demonstration Classrooms) – Autism Spectrum Disorders The IEP and the Student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) The IEP and The Secondary School Student in the Regular Classroom Secondary Learning Centre – Professional Development for Teachers Data Collection and Analysis Kinark/SCDSB After School Parent and Educators Policy/Program Memorandum 140 ( PPM 140) Sessions o Organizational Strategies for Students with ASD o Positive Behaviour Supports o Understanding Anxiety and ASD o Using Social Stories, Social Scripts & Narratives o Facilitating Successful Transitions o Understanding Sensory Issues & ASD o Stressors, Strategies and Using the 5 point scale o Strategies for Promoting Independence

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 APPENDIX C 1-29 JUNE 13, 2012 ______

May, 2012

Purpose of Consultation
Board Motion: That the Board refer the issue identified by the SEAC motion as set out in Report No. D-3-a, Special Education Advisory Committee – Time Sensitive Motion – March 19, 2012, to senior staff to review the concerns raised regarding the use of blocker shields with students, to consult with SEAC, parents, staff, and the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and to seek input from community partners and to prepare a report updating the Program Standing Committee in June 2012.
 Administrative Panel Members: Janis Medysky, Phyllis Hili, Peter

Gumbrell, Brian Jeffs, David Quinlan  Report to SCDSB Program Committee June 13, 2012

 Welcome  Provincial Perspective  Legislated Compliance  Strategies to Protect Students and Staff  Comments and Questions

Options and Alternatives  Closing Remarks and Next Steps

 Boards have a duty to accommodate students with all

abilities.  The use of Personal Protective Equipment is an accommodation that allows a student to continue in a program.  Respect for the dignity of the student should always be part of the consideration.  Accommodations are part of an IEP that involves a process with the parents/guardians of the student

Provincial Perspective ( BMS )
 Behaviour Management Systems Training  PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT  Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is

required by school staff when working with students with special needs who present an ongoing risk of injury to self or others.

What Is Protective Equipment?
 PPE used in schools includes equipment, devices or clothing to

protect a student or staff member from injury during the course of daily activities. PPE is specific to individual student behaviour and staff need for protection. Examples include the following: lifting equipment for students with mobility issues, safety harness for bus transportation, helmet for student head protection, special sleeves and shin guards for protection against pinching, biting and kicking, padded vest or shields for protection against punches, eye/face protection for bodily fluids, padded mats to protect the student from self-injury against walls, hair nets for protection against grabs and pulls, etc.  The use of PPE allows the student to attend and benefit from a school program.

Personal Protective Equipment
The Need  The vast majority of students, including some with special needs, including those with autism, accept responsibility for a safe learning environment and take accountability for their actions.  However, a very small number of these students have uncontrollable behaviours that are directly related to their diagnosed medical, neurological or developmental condition and, in some cases, these behaviours may present an ongoing safety risk including a risk of injury to themselves (or others).

Legislative Requirements
 The OHSA requires that employers (school boards)

and supervisors (school principals) assess these safety risks on an ongoing basis and provide workers (school staff) with the measures and procedures to control the identified risks  The OHSA also requires that, where these safety risks can be eliminated or reduced through the use of personal protective equipment, this equipment must be provided and used by staff

Determining the Need for PPE
 The safety needs of students, including the use of PPE,

are often identified at the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting along with academic and social needs and recommendations to meet these needs are made to the principal  The principal ensures that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) detailing interventions and PPE, and where necessary an emergency Safety Plan, is developed and implemented by staff to meet these needs

Determining the Need for PPE
 Parents are involved in the IPRC process and the

development of the IEP  If the IPRC has not identified a specific PPE and the need subsequently becomes apparent, the principal, in consultation with the parents and appropriate professionals (e.g., occupational therapists, psychologists) has a duty to provide the equipment

Legal Framework for the Provision of Special Education Programs and Services
 Pursuant to section 170(1)(7) of the Education Act,1 school boards in

Ontario are required to provide programs and services for their exceptional pupils in accordance with the Education Act and regulations. In addition to regulations, the Ministry of Education has also issued specific Program Policy Memoranda and Standards to provide guidance to school boards with respect to the provision of special education programs and services.  The provision of special education programs and services to students by school boards is also subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code,2 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,3 which protect students from discrimination on the basis of disability.  The Code requires that students with disabilities be accommodated in the provision of educational services, such that each student must be provided with an individualized program that maximizes the student’s integration with peers and respects the student’s dignity.

Legal References
 Education Act, s.1 [definitions]; ss.8(3) [Minister’s duties];

s.56 [appeals to the Ontario Special Education Tribunal], ss.170(1)7 [special education programs and services]. Ont. Reg.296, Ontario Schools for the Blind and the Deaf Ont. Reg. 298, Operation of Schools General Ont. Reg. 306, Special Education Programs and Services Ont. Reg. 464/97, Special Education Advisory Committees Ont. Reg. 181/98, Identification, Placement of Exceptional Pupils

Legal References
Policy/Program Memoranda (PPMs):  PPM 1 advises that the Provincial Schools for the blind and deaf are mandated to provide appropriate services to school boards.  PPM 8 concerns provisions for the education for students with learning disabilities.  PPM 11 concerns the requirement for early identification of children’s learning needs.  PPM 59concerns psychological testing and assessment of students.  PPM 76Cconcerns alternative educational programs and services for deaf, blind and deaf-blind exceptional pupils.

Legal References
 PPM 81 concerns the provision of health support services in

school settings. This memorandum has been supplemented by two other documents:

 Interministerial Guidelines for the Provision of Speech and

 PPM 85 concerns education programs for pupils in

Language Services  A Model for the Provision of Speech and Language Services

government-approved care and/or treatment facilities.  PPM 127 concerns the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course in English-Language secondary schools – accommodations, deferrals and exemptions. It also addresses the accommodations for students with special needs.  PPM 140 Incorporating methods of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) into programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Legal References
 Individual Education Plans: Standards for Development, Program

Planning and Implementation, 2000

 Standards for School Boards’ Special Education Plans  Human Rights Code, s.1,  Ontario Human Rights Commission, Guidelines on Accessible

Education, 2004 revised 2008.

 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s.15

  

1 R.S.O. 2

1990, c.E.2 R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 3 Part I, Constitution Act, 1982, Sch. B to the Canada Act, 1982, (U.K.) 1982, c.11

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O.
Duties of Supervisor - Section 27
A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,  Works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and regulations; and  Uses or wears the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker’s employer requires to be used or worn Without limiting the duty imposed by subsection (1), a supervisor shall,  Advise a worker of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health or safety of the worker of which the supervisor is aware  Where so prescribed, provide a worker with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of the worker; and  Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker

Duties of Workers - Section 28
A worker shall,
 Work in compliance with the provisions of this Act and the

regulations  Use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker’s employer requires to be used or worn  Report to his or her employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which the worker is aware and which may endanger himself, herself or another worker; and  Report to his or her employer or supervisor any contravention of this Act or the regulations or the existence of any hazard of which he or she knows

No worker shall,
 Remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the regulations or by his or her employer, without providing an adequate temporary protective device and when the need for removing or making ineffective the protective device has ceased, the protective device shall be replaced immediately

“Workplace violence” means
 The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker,

in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,  An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker,  A statement or behavior that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker

Right to Refuse or to Stop Work Where Health or Safety in Danger - Section 43
A worker may refuse to work or do particular work where he or she has reason to believe that,  Any equipment, machine, device or thing the worker is to use or operate is likely to endanger himself, herself or another worker  The physical condition of the workplace or the part thereof in which he or she works or is to work is likely to endanger himself or herself; or  Any equipment, machine, device or thing he or she is to use or operate or the physical condition of the workplace or the part thereof in which he or she works or is to work is in contravention of this Act or the regulations and such contravention is likely to endanger himself, herself or another worker.

R.R.O. 1990 Regulation 857 Teachers
 Part V (Right to Refuse or to Stop Work where Health

or Safety in Danger) does not apply to a teacher where the circumstances are such that the life, health or safety of a pupil is in imminent jeopardy.

The Need to Protect Students and Others
Two sets of processes for challenging behaviour
 Attempt to understand the function of the behaviour  Management of behaviour in a way that maximizes


Understanding Behaviour and Planning for Success
 Functional Behaviour Analysis approach: Understand

behaviour in context  Antecedents  Consequences  Modifications to program/environment

When There is a Risk of Injury
 De-escalation strategies
 Provide space  Provide time  E.g. safe spot, minimal instructions

 Successful in majority of situations

Appropriate Interventions
 Behaviour Management Systems protocol
 Blocking of punches, kicks  Strategies for bites, hair pulls  Use of personal protective equipment  Physical containments, or restraints
 

Small person containment Large person containment

Use of Foam Pads in our Schools
 Physical restraints not successful for some students
 Escalate further when touched  Size of student

 Foam pads used
 To reduce injury from self-injurious behaviour  Protect staff and others

Regular Evaluation and Monitoring of Strategies
 Collaboration between school staff, central staff,

agencies, parents and others  All interventions reviewed and monitored regularly  Interventions discontinued when no longer required

Effectiveness of Interventions
 Many examples of successful strategies and

interventions leading to greater integration and improved outcomes.

Next Steps

REPORT NO. PRO-I-2 APPENDIX D 1-11 JUNE 13, 2012_______


Joint Health and Safety Committee Consultation – May 8, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • What will the board do to replace blockers? Contact other boards who are using blockers Is the issue that they are red? One EA has made a cover for the blocker Look at class size caps Competing legislation Need a balanced approach How often are children taken on outings? Has the document Safe Employees and Safety Students been reviewed? In the new year, staff will be new – they will need training OHSA does not allow for mitigating circumstances Should public be aware of statistics of how many staff have been injured? Perhaps discuss the equipment with companies who make it Need to provide the context of why PPE is used

Public Consultation Session – May 10, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Make use of the IPRC process Develop a shared county-wide process Involve agencies (New Path, Autism Ontario) Need input/consultation from parents The pads are degrading Rights of child denied More consultation is required Hope Character Education Traits are not just words Don’t accept path of least resistance Heavily slanted toward health and safety Need to consider evidence EAs who have least amount of training having to deal with highly difficult situations Blockers are quite stigmatizing Blockers are not accommodations; they are restraining devices Blockers are an admittance of failure By calling them equipment, the board gets around notifying parents they are in use Staff require utmost training

Page 1 of 11

Student Senate Consultation– May 15, 2012
• • • • • • • • • All over padding less visible Tell the community how they are actually being used Before the pads are banned, there should be an alternative Visually this could set the student off Restrict the pads to indoors Need to educate the public Track incidents Use something more discrete like a backpack Modify foam pads – smaller or visually less overbearing

Parent Involvement Committee Consultation– May 16, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Can see where foam pads are needed to protect child, situation and other children in the vicinity Foam worked – special needs children are very powerful Person on receiving end needs to feel safe Only used as a last resort Part of inclusiveness strategy Consultation is reducing stigma- educating parents Board has obligation to accommodate students and keep everyone safe Board must ensure regular students are safe and secure Education is required Not using blocker pads could lead to potential lawsuits Feel upset if my child hurt someone else Can see where they (parents of special needs students) are coming from – advocating for their child Board has to protect privacy over students and support staff who are injured Very complicated issue Board being transparent is great

SEAC Consultation – May 17, 2012 and June 4, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • All staff should receive BMS training What type of training is being done at Teachers’ College? If staff want equipment of a certain type, is it provided? Need for more knowing/understanding/sensitivity Need messaging – keynote speaker on PA day Who makes decisions around PPE? Need for equipment for outside of classroom also Should staff wear helmets to prevent a concussion? Have heard the word “stigmatizing” a lot Would Ministry support additional equipment? Red colour is bizarre What are other boards using?

Page 2 of 11

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Where does the PPE come from? Is PPE mentioned in the Special Education Report? (consultation) Problem is with cut-backs Not fair for class to be evacuated and de-briefed EAs need to be in many places at once Use or abuse of foam pads has been drastically exaggerated Further training and education for all teachers and support staff Provide an historical overview of how our province has dealt with disabled people – closing institutions and integrating into community Teachers’ College have done inadequate job – all staff need FMS, FBA, ABA, IBI, Ziggurat training Support staff should be assigned according to their unique strengths Best practices and success stories should be used – also those from agencies Regular case conference with school officials and involved agencies How was the decision made to first use blocker shields? There must be evidence-based assessment and data informing the decision to use any equipment There must be explicit training and supervision of staff by ABA trained individuals The determination of PPE should involve all parties in consultation To date there are families who have not been advised or involved in consultation around the use of PPE The blocker shields will make inclusion an impossibility The community must support inclusion Parents have asked that certain equipment be removed and it hasn’t been removed.

Regional Principals’ Consultation – May 16, 17, 18, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Communication with the parents throughout the process Would be in an IEP and signed by parents if using protective equipment Many classrooms are not air conditioned and those vests are very heavy and hot Heat also triggers student behaviour Hands off policy at the school Would not want anyone to get hurt Has been spit on, kicked and still has a problem with the blockers Specific training for the use of blockers It is the very last resort I hope that they are allowed to use the blockers In danger of losing EAs if they are not protected We are not going to let anyone get hurt Received a call from potential parent and they asked if our school is using the blocker pads BMS training refers to personal protective equipment that you must purchase Some shields are not bright red and shiny – others can be like a soft pillow and is a better look Sometimes their staff wishes they had them (pads) to protect them from out-of-control students At time of IPRC administrators don’t always know if the equipment is needed

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Now that staff is aware of the pads, they would like to use them Believe that in the right place with the right programming, it can be successful At present the use doesn’t appear in the IEP The use of a gym mat may be considered as a substitute to the foam pad A principal can sometimes feel that they are being railroaded when a JHSC inspection is being done Consider having someone with system knowledge/perspective be part of those county class inspections Principals hearing from JHS committee members that foam pads are used They should consider using them or may be faced with work refusals Consistency is a concern because at times admin feels backed into corner if they don’t move forward with recommendations – knowing that JHS committee has already spoken with staff Training with regular classroom staff members even the whole school because it is a team thing Have received a lot of good strategies – open consultation/communication with parents There are also strategies that parents provide that schools can’t use

Staff Consultation Session – May 29, 2012
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1300 SIBs this year at Barrie North – since beginning of program there have been 8300 SIBs (Self Injurious Behaviours) Look at having one or two students at a school Other students suffer Blockers have helped protect from about 50% more injuries People in the community have been accepting/welcoming Communication is primary issue Portrayal that these devices are for the purpose of herding and restraining is inaccurate and insulting, bordering on libelous Public have been offered a tainted view People injured and property damaged Don’t let political correctness cloud the issue You never see the near misses Comes a point you can no longer provide accommodation for these students Need a creative solution This is no longer just a secondary school issue Concerned with shift in language – blocker shields to PPE Need a separate model of staffing of county classes Need better screening process for staff Staff unprepared for physical and emotional stressors High burn-out rate in this area of work Offer very specific training for county classes Keep discussion of blockers and other PPE separate Is the placement correct for students? Why are teachers becoming behaviour specialists? Need to have trained behaviour specialists If tools are taken away, can’t do our job

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We chose this profession because we are nurturing and want to help the most vulnerable children EAs consider their safety last – put safety of students before theirs Many reactions trigger reactions from students SCDSB could be leader in the province Look at physical space – can we design space when schools are being built or retrofit – state-of-the-art Look at partnerships with industry, universities Is there an overall vision for ASD? No intent to hide or be discrete How is dignity measured? Other methods of PPE are okay – how did blockers go beyond the tipping point?

School Council Responses (17 responses)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Want children to feel safe and secure Every child has a right to an education Support use of 3 techniques: IEP, assistive devices and specialized safety equipment Need a policy to include: permission to use equipment when required; parent/guardian informed; staff trained; consent from parent/guardian; notification to parent/guardian when equipment used; any changes to equipment and parent is informed Support the use of PPE Foam blockers have been highly effective on several occasions SC does not perceive foam pads as undignified but as a safety measure and last resort Additional communication and education on the use of PPE between parents, students and staff Discussion with other school boards Provision of special ed. services should be consistent Commit to enhanced training for staff Mandatory communication training Partner with CTN/Bloorview to provide non-verbal children with voice output and mandate board policy for Augmentative Communication plans for children ABA training implementation Provide psych ed. assessments Better allocation of special ed. resources Ministry of Education – increase EA allocations Regarding the blockers in the news – maybe students are not ready to be making field trips into the community Need to have adequate physical environment Parents concerned about safety of their children when students with high needs are in their schools Fear on part of students and parents Communication is key – hard to communicate without breaking confidentiality Additional education to parents and community from board prior to media attention would have been beneficial It is being used in a very responsible, accountable manner Needs to be monitored

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Blocker pads don’t decrease the social interactions – more likely that their behaviour would do that Ensure transparency Colour may be a problem Educate the public If parents and board staff cannot agree, then the child’s return or entry must be delayed More options for modifying attendance of a student who is deemed to be a safety risk More options to provide safety and retain dignity and respect Easy to jump to the wrong conclusion – portrayal of PPE without appropriate context can lead to wrong impression Balance needs and rights of students and staff Parents must consent to the intervention The student’s right to psychological and social dignity Unfortunate we are putting staff in this position Emphasis must be given to support staff and principals implementing these policies Have regular review of behaviour and equipment SCDSB consult informed parties that can provide expertise Begin consultation with SEAC Consult other boards Have a wide range of resources Intent to use PPE is mindful to keep student safe, dignity intact and to support staff to return home after work healthy and not injured Some children require alternate means As students change, grow, develop, we need to continually reflect Clear defusing steps must be taken prior to use Public awareness of the utility and benefit must be considered Attention should be paid to the proper classification of blockers – not classroom supplies Two members of staff are present in the room Use of video camera if parents are concerned Single school location Board communicate success with students as opposed to negative tone in media

Agency Responses New Path Integration Action for Inclusion in Education and Community Ontario Learning Disabilities Association of Simcoe County Simcoe Community Services Catulpa Community Support Services Autism Ontario Canadian Down Syndrome Society

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Believe in community inclusion In support of SEAC recommendation Share SEAC concerns: no parental knowledge, no SEAC knowledge, not in IEPs, not “prescribed” by health care practitioners, no guidelines/rules/policies Intervention is unacceptable and degrading for students Concerned about message it gives to other students Utilize NVCI There are effective approaches in this field Individualization Need a county-wide process to share our collective knowledge about de-escalation strategies and the emerging evidence base of effective, least intrusive approaches to ensuring safety of student and staff Blocker may serve as an unintentional cue for staff and students to default to that particular intervention rather than less intrusive methods Use is a discriminatory practice Sends a message that individuals are violent and uncontrollable It will threaten opportunities for inclusion Children should all grow up together to learn about diversity and to build friendships and understanding of each other Assumptions, prejudices are learned through negative modeling and blocker shields are such a thing Do not maintain a position on the use of blocker shields Expects that the board will follow regulations governing SEAC processes when considering changes to board policies, procedures or staff delivered strategies that affect the delivery of SE Supports a collaborative and transparent process Had an immediate emotional impact Shields are a symptom of a more serious issue which is about effective education for students with ASD and the quality of supports in a safe environment for all Require key decision making processes to be in place for determining the development and implementation of IPRCs, IEPs, Behaviour and Safety plans in collaboration with parents and professionals Evidence based assessment and data that informs those choices that are least intrusive and most effective in an educational setting FBA by trained professionals under the supervision of other trained professionals in ABA and ASD EAs with least amount of training are placed in a position to provide the most direct support for the most demanding students – need explicit training for EAs and direct supervision by staff with strong behaviour credentials (board staff with certified behaviour analyst credentials) to be readily available in conjunction with assessments and supports by trained teachers, speech language pathologists, psychologists, OTs and other community supports such as psychiatrists Stigma placed on students with ASD Presence of shields could become the very prompt to a student to exhibit the challenging behaviour that staff are trying to avoid Best practices – research on the use of Positive Behaviour Supports (Dr. Robert Horner) Autism Ontario– eager to assist

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Public Input
Parents – 11 Community – 5 Student -1 Parents • Objects to any SCDSB measure that calls for the use of blocker shields for any student deemed to constitute physical threat to staff, self or others without full consideration of: • range of behavioural interventions available • legislative requirements • unique circumstances involving staff and student Needs to be balanced Evidence-based research and appropriate documentation Last resort IPRC meetings and IPRC process to be used to determine accommodations and safety plans OHSA does not mention PPE (in workplace violence section) What about safe schools, code of conduct, character ed? Apologize to all for lack of transparency and thoughtfulness Assess risks associated with the teacher and the children Determine range of interventions possible Partnerships with community agencies Should have notified parents Could actually be creating behaviour that staff would like to eliminate Need sufficient training Evidenced-based ABA training Adequate communication and devices and supports from the day they begin in all-day kindergarten Best approach is to remain calm Other students traumatized Calls unkind attention to a child with special needs in distress Awareness of autism is the most important method Imperative to share all information with respect to child They are intimidating and they segregate Cause fearful reactions in other children when they see them being used Knowledge is the best defense Right to be treated with dignity Screen individuals for employment Education and certification Child with communicative disorder relies on their EA to speak for them Need consultation with outside agencies and medical Not one solution for all situations NVCI Behaviours are a form of communication These tools frighten these students – create fear

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In the best interest of staff and classroom I applaud them being used when needed Would love to have one of those blockers at home We can call the police and have them removed- then it is not teaching them how to communicate If staff injured that means a day off and the day will be rougher as students can only function with stability - student does not like transition/needs staff Keep student from injuring himself due to violent outburst Student understands concept of red and green – red means student not ready to be around others Other students assaulted Why are they taking outings if they pose a threat? – do they pose a risk to passers-by?

Community • • • • • • • • • • • • • Advocate for workers Mentally ill not responsible for their actions Ideas only work in some cases Use of blockers not explained well Has brought attention to learning to communicate with others Get small businesses involved to allow students to work with them for half-day every week Work is parenting of life and teaching of life for all Equipment helps to ensure – helmets are one type Consider neuroplastic LD program ie. Arrowsmith Foam pads create distance and allow staff to redirect Providing a relatively safe environment in schools for students who rarely interact with other students and who might harm others is highly important in the public system Brightly coloured foam pads give other students a clear visual cue that caution is needed Could be the reason that other students didn’t press charges

Students • • • • Anyone who uses force to get me to do something I don’t like Form of bigotry They are causing the students’ life to be miserable They (pads) would be compromising safety

Staff Individual Submissions
• • • • • • Would not want to be denied access to PPE People in community who have no experience with this issue should not be the ones who influence the direction that the board will take re. PPE (blockers) – if no longer available the board will lose many good EAs due to injury If student cannot go in community without an outburst, they need not be taking walks Protective equipment is not used casually or lightly – it is used when necessary Surprised that parents unaware of safety equipment used in the classrooms

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Program may need to be changed altogether to avoid minimal transition of routine including academics or isolating student altogether which may decrease aggressive behaviour Children with autism need continuity to promote level of independence Not all schools in our area use this device, but could have been used in certain situations Does anyone actually read forms we send in when we are hit by students? Helmets protect students – blockers protect both staff and students Putting expectations on students can be stressful to them and behaviours are inevitable Our goal is inclusion without fear Hope that parents would want to work with us for the common good and not against us Hope our government would take time to educate themselves instead of slandering good people Create a large sensory room Have a large SMART board embedded in the wall Install a very large television and a video device safely Take students swimming as often as possible Encourage fun and safe activities as much as possible Search for safe solutions so all students can learn basic computer skills A journal between parents and staff each day EAs may feel better if they were rotated in the general school population two days out of five Parents could volunteer Equipment does not look pretty when dealing with child but is necessary for staff protection Students do enjoy outings as they break up the day….if parents want children to go on outings then they also should be worried about safety Red is a colour of warning but the colour on the pads could be changed to a more muted colour Staff and students see the red and know to be cautious….this does not mean they (pads) demean the students Regular students volunteer with these and other challenged students here and in the community The pads are up if the EAs know the student is having a difficult time Images of students being escorted by people with large protective blocker pads is not one I see as appropriate on a city sidewalk Many students have unpredictable behaviour and can escalate in a matter of seconds Challenge is to use a traditional classroom and limited space to adapt it to provide the programs which are necessary Most challenges occur during times of academic task demand and reduced sensory provisions Need for EA support during staff breaks Forced student enrollment cap in the ASD classroom would improve the function and safety Problem with finding willing supply teachers and EAs Staff no longer consider risk of injury; they consider likelihood or severity of the injury Due to media misrepresentation of pads, the program has had to remove afternoon outings – they were the most successful part of the program

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Some students may be used to having a physical restraint when they do not comply with home staff/guardian – as a result the student has learned that they need to fight at school to win an argument Need consistency with methods used at home and reducing the conditioning of using aggression as a means of coping and communication Issue of PPE for contract staff only Wearing PPE is very hot – install climate control Media/parent debate about use of foam pads has created a significant stress Since use of foam pads there has been a significant reduction in the use of BMS physical containments Programs should be developed to allow students to have more choice and input and to access different activities and services which they may need and prefer Review environmental conditions in the classroom Ideal environment would be a separate school or wing of a school which is built to provide for needs to provide student independence and freedom to walk the halls and access activities without risking the safety of other students and staff at the school Continue to explore IPad and IPod technology Some of our students communicate that they don’t like to be at school Students do not learn well when they are not calm Rotation of A/B days Consider alternative spaces and number of students Regular scheduled meeting with staff Have experienced anxiety and sleep deprivation due to events Need to be educated in different methods of programming to reach different types of learners Pads only used when students are aggressive Without the blockers there will be no integration

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