Simcoe County School Board Continues Their Tradition Of Child Abuse…

The “Calming Room” at the Portage View Public School

If you were following my articles back in the springtime, you will probably remember my stories about how the Simcoe County District School Board approved the use of martial arts blocker pads against autistic children. The incident created quite a stir, and the articles got a lot of attention. By August, the problem was brought to the Ontario Legislature and a private members bill was voted on and advanced to the committee stage. Unfortunately, when McGuinty shut-down the legislature, that bill was lost.

This week things got worse in Simcoe County when it was discovered that the Portage View Public School had, without parental authorization, sent a 4-year old child into a ‘calming room’- the elementary school version of a rubber room used in the mental health field…

The calming room is a small space, about the size of a janitorial closet, with padded walls (with yellow stains on them) and a small window that was too high for the child to look out of. There were also two rubber balls for the child to play with- one red, and one orange. The room was totally soundproof too, which apparently was quite scary for this 4-year old child.

According to the school district’s policy, calming rooms are not to be used as punishment. More importantly, calming rooms are not to be used unless the parents have signed-off on having their child placed there. In this case, the parents had no idea their child was put into a calming room until after the third time it happened. The school’s logs indicate that the child was placed in the room on Sept. 18, Oct. 2 and Oct. 11- but, there is no indication in the logs how long the child was kept there.

Needless to say they were far from impressed…

There are a couple big problems here. First, the parents weren’t notified- this was not only against the school board’s rules, but it is a violation of the trust parent’s place in the school they send their children too. The next problem is that the school’s logs don’t record how long a child is kept in the calming room- making it impossible to properly audit how they are being used.

I’ve been in regular contact with one of the parents who I interviewed about the martial arts blocker pad issue- and, I must say, listening to their stories, it has been clear to me that something is seriously wrong in Simcoe County. They tell me that there is an almost adversarial relationship between them, their child, and the teaching assistants in the school. Each time I’ve got an update on the situation it leaves me wanting to cry.

This is not an isolated incident- what we are seeing here is a pattern of abusive behaviour and a cavalier attitude towards the welfare of Simcoe County’s children. This is the same school board that refused to vote against the blocker pads- only one member of the board, Caroline Smith, was sensible enough to vote against blocker pads. And, now, this happens.

All but one of these people needs to resign…

It’s time for the members of the Simcoe County School Board (with the exception of Caroline Smith) to immediately resign. There’s no excuse for this sort of thing to happen, again, on their watch. They have been sleeping on the job, and playing politics over the needs of the children they are supposed to be supporting. There are no more excuses- it’s time for a change….


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  1. Oh boy have I got some horror stories of the halton board. These people damage children for life.

  2. My poor Boris continues at simcoe school board and has to be on heavy meds to endure it

    1. It’s time for the school board to resign. They have proven themselves to be unworthy of their positions- and, there is a disturbing lack of diversity…

  3. Several actual and potential violations of constitutional and health legislation here… First of all, Informed consent… apparently this is being used as a form of treatment for behavioral issues that have not been properly assessed or diagnosed in the above mentioned 4 year old. No diagnosis by a professional (ie. family physician or mental health practitioner) means no treatment plan and effectively the school board is acting unethically in superceding a course of action that would be implemented by someone in the health field. The parents are, of course, not aware of when their child is thrown in the padded room, because there is no ethical obligation to have their consent to do so. Secondly, studies show the detrimental effects of sensory deprivation in children for various amounts of time and for children with diagnosed autism and adhd, they actually stimulate these children medically and environmentally to channel the energy. Several schools (special and public) have rooms with various led light strings, textured walls, classical music, etc… which is the antithesis of what Simcoe deems to be appropriate treatment for misbehaving children. Perhaps the College of Physicians and Surgeons needs to be made aware of this travesty? Or, at the very least the Canadian Mental Health Association?

      • Standing Water on November 16, 2012 at 10:58
      • Reply

      I think you will find that when dealing with University-educated professionals in Canada, one hand washes the other. They don’t criticize one another, because their major aim is collecting $$$$, not building a better world. That’s the schtick they trot out when it’s time to bilk the taxpayer for more $$$$.

  4. “Sensory deprivation studies show us that sudden and nearly complete deprivation of stimulation through the five senses can lead to dramatic changes in the brain’s efficiency with a partial loss of memory, a lowering of the I.Q., personality changes including withdrawal, hallucinations, and in some people even an abnormal electroencephalogram, a picture not unlike what is seen in the mentally ill patient who becomes withdrawn and hallucinates.” From ….

    • Standing Water on November 16, 2012 at 10:03
    • Reply

    This shocks my conscience. Solitary confinement is not appropriate at any age; it causes severe trauma to the nervous system. Also, don’t let them call it a “calming room.” It is a jail cell. The schizoid perverts who work in these systems use lots of disordered speech in order to avoid a clear understanding of what they’re doing—it sounds morbid, but think of a mentally ill serial killer who kills children because he thinks he’s “sending them to heaven.” Same deal with the calming room. These people are mentally ill, and they pose a clear and present danger to the neurodiversity of our species.

    Indeed, now that we understand the neurological differences between the autistic and the “typical” population, these sorts of acts can only be seen as open warfare against those who do not conform to the delusional world-view of the neurotypical—and as far as I understand, genetic studies show that the autistic have more genomic variation; so the “neurotypical” are, essentially, inbred animals that hate everything that isn’t as inbred as they are.

    • Tamara Dippel on November 22, 2012 at 19:07
    • Reply

    And if the kid is claustrophobic? They put the kid in there to calm down but instead cause panic and trauma… A room the size of a janitors closet? That’s no place for a kid! I wonder if that could cause a child to BECOME claustrophobic? And rubber rooms? What an insult! These adults are the ones going crazy, why are they treating these children so inhumanely and cruelly?!?! :( :( :(

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