The Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary – Week 1 Summary

Warning: This multi-part series deals with the physical abuse of vulnerable children in the public school system. If you or someone you love is experiencing trauma-related symptoms from physical abuse, please seek help. Resources in Canada can be found here: For children, Kids Help Phone: Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868.

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

Doug Peterson has highlighted the story in his blog here:

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.

Featured image by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

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

  1. Introduction
  2. Timeline Part 1 (Class Action Lawsuit)
  3. Timeline Part 2 (RCMP)
  4. Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada
  5. The Statement of Claim
  6. The Yukon Child and Youth Advocate’s Office
  7. The [Missing] Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary
  8. Week 1 Summary
  9. The Federal NDP Attempt to Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada (Bill C-273)
  10. UPDATE: Bill C-273
  11. UPDATE: Supreme Court of Yukon Decision March 27, 2024
  12. UPDATE: Yukon Child and Youth Advocate’s Office PODCAST
  13. No Pain, No Shame, No Blame (American Academy of Paediatrics)
  14. Senator Stan Kutcher and Bill S-251 to Repeal Section 43
  15. Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 6
  16. The Rights of Children
  17. The Public Education System in the Yukon
  18. Ronald Morrish – Discipline that Harms
  19. Ethical Practice and the Teaching Profession
  20. Recap and FAQ
  21. Childhood Trauma – ACES
  22. The long-term impact of physical abuse of children
  23. What we know about corporal punishment of children

Who I Am: My name is Donna Miller Fry. I was Superintendent of Schools in Whitehorse, Yukon when I became aware that prior to my arrival, children at Jack Hulland Elementary School were being restrained and secluded as a method of discipline – for years. I (and others) reported this to the RCMP on November 29, 2021. Since then, the Department of Education has admitted the inappropriate use of restraints and seclusion. The victims have resorted to legal action to obtain professional support in addressing the impacts of trauma. This can never happen again in the public school system. By telling this story, I hope to empower education leaders to ensure vulnerable children are never again the victims of abuse in the very place that should be dedicated to their flourishing.

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