Over the past week, I’ve presented a horrific tale of child abuse in a Yukon school from various perspectives. My goal has been to pull together all we know about this blatant violation of the rights of children – from court documents, media reports, and news releases. There is so much more to tell, but as I interact with an audience that is increasingly interested in this story, I am aware that I need to pause, summarize, and set the record straight on a few things.
I’ll begin again with where we are today – January 20, 2023. The RCMP wrapped up their 22-month investigation into the use of physical restraint and seclusion of children at Jack Hulland Elementary School in September, 2023. They have yet to provide any report on their findings, after interviewing nearly 200 people. We continue to wait for information on what they have learned.
The Class Action Lawsuit against the Yukon Department of Education has approval to proceed (August 2023), and the legal team continues to work with the Supreme Court of the Yukon on a process to notify the victims (the class).
I’ll editorialize a bit here. I cannot understand why a Class Action Lawsuit should be needed to get help for victims of abuse. I have worked all across Canada in education leadership roles. I do not know of any other jurisdiction where victims of abuse in a school would have to take legal action to get help. The public system exists to serve children and families. Upon discovering systemic abuse, the first step should be to locate the victims and provide help to recover from trauma. Yet to this day I have no evidence to suggest the Department of Education has taken a single step to find the victims. Nobody has asked the question, where are the children we have harmed? When the Department of Education does not work to meet the needs of children, taking legal action is the only recourse. So here we are.
In addition, there is no evidence of any disciplinary action on the part of the employer even though their internal investigation revealed frequent, systemic misuse of restraints, and the use of seclusion.
Educators know what an enormous impact childhood trauma has on all aspects of a life. Educators fully understand the urgency of providing therapeutic supports to children who have undergone traumatic experiences. Yet there remain numerous victims of abuse who have never had access to this kind of care. There are families who are not yet aware their children were harmed at the school (victims continue to come forward).
This is very much a current event, not an event from the past. I tell this story because we must find the victims and get them the support they need. Please take the time to share this story in your social media, and engage with some of the resources from previous posts so that we can ensure all victims are found.
In particular this week I want to thank Doug Peterson for taking time to read my posts, and highlighting them on his VoicEd Radio program with Stephen Hurley. Please take a moment to listen to the podcast beginning at 23:54 https://voiced.ca/project/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs/
Doug Peterson has highlighted the story in his blog here: https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2024/01/19/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-597/
Please continue to follow along as I explore the implications of this story and share updates as we move into the next phase – finding the children who were harmed.
The Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary is a compilation of stories around the Inappropriate Use of Force on vulnerable children over many years at a public school in Whitehorse, Yukon. This is a complex narrative about the violation of the rights of children in a public school, where all children should thrive. Through understanding the circumstances that led to and supported child abuse, we can all ensure this never happens again.
The Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary
- Timeline Part 1 (Class Action Lawsuit)
- Timeline Part 2 (RCMP)
- Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada
- The Statement of Claim
- The Yukon Child and Youth Advocate’s Office
- The [Missing] Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary
- Week 1 Summary
- The Federal NDP Attempt to Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada (Bill C-273)
- UPDATE: Bill C-273
- Senator Stan Kutcher and Bill S-251 to Repeal Section 43
- Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 6
- The Rights of Children
- The Public Education System in the Yukon
- Ronald Morrish – Discipline that Harms
- Ethical Practice and the Teaching Profession
- Recap and FAQ
- Childhood Trauma – ACES
- The long-term impact of physical abuse of children
- What we know about corporal punishment of children