The Kids of Jack Hulland Elementary: No Pain, No Shame, No Blame

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.

Saying that it [corporal punishment] is not allowed, isn’t going to change a school culture entirely. We don’t know what other forms of discipline will come in. I think really in the simplest forms when I talk with families, I remind them that our goal is no pain — so that’s corporal punishment– no shame, and no blame when we discipline children. No pain, no shame, no blame.

Dr. Jaime Peterson, on Harvard Edcast, April 3, 2024

The long-term impacts of physical force and painful discipline on children are well-known. Educators, in particular, are trained in the importance of using strategies that preserve student dignity and teach alternative behaviours when working with children. We’ll dig deeper into this topic in a future post, but this excerpt from the recent policy statement by the American Academy of Paediatrics is a great preliminary summary.

Harsh discipline is linked with mental health problems in children, including conduct disorderdepressionlow self-esteemself-harmsuicide attemptssubstance use and more. These effects can continue into adulthood.”

American Academy of Paediatrics, summarized by Dr. Nathaniel Beers

In the Yukon, corporal punishment is prohibited. This is clearly stated in the Education Act.

We know children have been harmed in the Yukon through the use of physical restraint and seclusion by educators. This provides support for the statement by the American Academy of Paediatrics that legislation alone, does not ensure safety for children.

Who enforces the legislation? Who enforces the Yukon Education Act?

Yukon children have the right to an education where disciplinary practices and behaviour codes are based on the premise of no pain, no shame, no blame. Children who have been harmed by the inappropriate use of force in schools, have the right to heal. What steps are being taken by the Yukon Department of Education to ensure that these rights are upheld?

Article 39

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglectexploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.

Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash


Discipline in Schools: Why is Hitting Still and Option (Harvard EdCast)

Corporal Punishment in Schools, Volume 152, Issue 3 – American Academy of Peadiatrics:

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Class Action Lawsuit: Were you (or someone you know) a student at Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse, Yukon during the years 2007 to 2022? You may be entitled to compensation as part of a class action lawsuit against the Yukon Department of Education. Please contact Tucker-Carruthers Yukon Law for more information. Website: or contact Heather Jordan, Paralegal at 867-667-2099 or email

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.

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.

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *