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School is not always a safe place for students with disability – this has to change

Sally Robinson writes in The Conversation (28.7.16) about allegations of mistreatment of disabled students in Australian schools, and what needs to be done to provide better support for these students and school staff.

‘The United Nations has been asked to investigate dozens of incidents in which children with disabilities were allegedly assaulted, locked in dark rooms and restrained in Australian schools.

‘Although there is no research as to how widespread this problem is, these cases point to a wider concern that students are experiencing a range of harms in schools, and that teachers are struggling to support students with increasingly complex needs.

‘Multiple inquiries have shown that system failures within the education sector often result in abuse and trauma.

‘… The costs of this are too high for children and families, and alarm many working in schools.

‘Taking concerns about harm of students to the UN is a strong indication that existing systems are not working for at least some students with disability.’

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