Autistic Kids & Blocker Pads- Ontario’s Bill 102 Will Be Introduced Tomorrow…

OPSEU 330 (ex)President Silvanna Petersen wearing riot gear…

Tomorrow is a big day for Ontario families with autistic children. Conservative MPP Rod Jackson will be introducing Bill 102, Education Amendment Act (Blocker Pads). I’ve been invited to attend the first reading at the Ontario Legislature tomorrow and will be reporting on the proceedings right after they are over. I’ll also be live tweeting from inside the legislature…

My regular readers will probably remember my stories about the blocker pads. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union local 330 demanded that Educational Assistants (EA’s) at Simcoe County schools can use this martial arts gear so that they can protect themselves from Autistic kids who get agitated. The only problem is that this is not a routine way of dealing with Autistic kids- I’ve searched all over, and haven’t seen a single school that uses such tactics.

A school in Massachusetts introduced the use of electroshock weapons against autistic kids. It got so bad that the UN special rapport on torture got involved. Eventually, the school was told to stop using these weapons against the kids, and the principal was fired from his job and convicted of a crime.

The movement to introduce blocker pads was introduced by Sylvanna Petersen, the leader of OPSEU local 330. Petersen went overboard in her promotion of these weapons. As you can see in the above picture, she even showed-up to a demonstration wearing all-black while sporting a blocker pad and eye gear. The image she projected is the exact opposite of what Canadians would expect to see in our schools.

Luckily for the autistic kids, Sylvanna has left OPSEU and has moved on to joining the Nurse’s Union. But, the damage has already been done. Because of her insane crusade, a motion was proposed by the Simcoe County District School Board to ban blocker pads, but the majority of the school board cowered to the union. The school board is currently in a stalemate with OPSEU and the blocker pads will still be used this fall- the children and their parents are horrified.

Rod Jackson’s bill is important- not just to families with autistic children, but to all of us. Allowing the use of ‘non-lethal’ riot gear into our schools is the beginning of a slippery slope. What’s next? Should teachers in ‘rough’ schools be allowed to carry Tazer guns? How about the police, if we allow blocker pads in the schools, does this not make it easier for them to use riot gear against the people?

You can see where this is going…

I’ll write more on this subject tomorrow when I get back from the legislature. Until then, I’d like to ask people who agree with banning blocker pads to contact your local MPP and ask them to back this bill. A list of MPP’s & contact information can be found here.


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  1. pull your kids out of school, they are at the mercy of these ridiculous unions and their exceedingly poor judgement.

    1. Indeed. OPSEU should be ashamed of itself for introducing these kids to this type of terror…

    • KS on August 30, 2012 at 09:19
    • Reply

    has anyone actually talked to anyone in the school system? I personly don’t see these as an issue. They are used in my kids high school and are for the safely of both the student and the teacher. In our case there is one student who gets very agitated when there are a lot of people around and once put the teacher through the double paned glass. These blockers aren’t used for everyone, just for the ones that can get violent. So are you saying that the teachers have no rights to protection? Explain how this is poor judgement.

    • Standing Water on August 30, 2012 at 18:16
    • Reply

    Perhaps autistic children, rather than being put in cages and abused by union hacks collecting fat paycheques, should simply be exempted from public education. Give them (or a trusteee, like mom/dad) all the money that the Government would spend feeding Union Hacks to abuse the kids, and let the autistic children be free to educate themselves. I cannot fathom why you think children who are clearly unhappy in an institution under a warden should be subjected to violence. What crime do children (autistic or otherwise) commit that requires them to be institutionalized, anyway?

    • Tamara D. on August 31, 2012 at 01:47
    • Reply

    Damn… now these kids will have to suffer the social stigma that comes with having teachers dress up in mock riot gear, as if they are dangerous criminals… Another stigma to follow them all their lives because over the next couple of generations this will become the norm. Not to mention that one might feel threatened seeing someone dressed in riot gear trying to talk to them…Also isn’t it possible the teachers might become more aggressive because the padding resembles what cops wear? Because of the associations we have gained over the course of our lives? If a teacher is going to wear some type of protective gear, it should at least be designed to NOT appear too authoritative or imposing or this may further the distress of those they are trying to help. The uniform that “teacher” showed up in is way too imposing and it looks like this woman has issues and should not be near vulnerable people… She looks like she’s going too a serious nerf battle or something.

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