An Australian principal had a cage-like structure built in a Canberra school as a “calm down” space for a student with autism. The principal has since been fired and “won’t be going back to a school.”
The details of the cage are outlined in a report released this week after an independent inquiry into the matter.
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The 2m x 2m x 2m structure, which had a self-closing door and a latch, was constructed in March by an independent contractor and dismantled 14 days later. The 10-year-old autistic boy it was built to contain was placed in the structure once by staff during that time.
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The principal used $5,915 in school funds to have the cage built “without input, consultation or approval” from the school board. It was the principal’s decision to install the cage, which was removed after a complaint was filed.
The #cage used to restrain autistic boy at #Canberra primary school @abcnewsCanberra pic.twitter杭州桑拿/lwOdkKQdTM
— Lisa Mosley (@LisaMosley) September 9, 2015
The report notes that support services are available to schools, including behaviour specialists and counsellors, but the principal did not make a request for such assistance before the “inappropriate” structure was installed.
The name of the school was not released in order to protect the child’s identity.