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March 31, 2004

Parents oppose disciplinary act

From: Calgary Herald, Canada - Mar 31, 2004

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

CALGARY -- A 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome has been pulled from a Calgary school by his parents after he was placed inside a cardboard box as a disciplinary measure.

Adam Shawchuk's mother arrived in his special education classroom and found cardboard around his desk so that he couldn't see anyone.

A substitute teacher told her that her son, who is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, had not been co-operating.

Judy MacKay, superintendent of instruction with the Calgary Catholic Centre, says the cardboard partitions are used to calm students but they're only supposed to be two or three-sided.

The Shawchuks say they were told that the staff involved would apologize but not in front of them.

They say that's unacceptable and won't send Adam back to the school.

The Association for Community Living says reducing stimulation in a classroom should be done in a helpful, constructive and educational way.

© Canadian Press 2004