Whitehorse RCMP conclude investigation into holds, seclusion at Jack Hulland Elementary School

Whitehorse RCMP have completed their investigation into the use of holds and isolation spaces at Jack Hulland Elementary School, but are offering no details on their findings. 

In a news release last week, police said officers with the detachment’s general investigation section have spoken with 190 people and reviewed more than 600 reports obtained from the school, the Education department, and parents and caregivers since November  2021. 

“The investigation remained a priority for the Detachment while officers also balanced emergent investigations presenting concerns for public safety,” the news release reads.

“The scope and scale of this investigation meant that it required significant resources and dedication from the officers involved. The investigators want to thank all those who have come forward to speak with police and share their experiences as part of the investigation.”

The Whitehorse RCMP investigation began on Nov. 19, 2021, when, around 1 p.m., the detachment was “made aware” of “allegations and concerns” that some staff at Jack Hulland had placed students in unnecessary physical holds or in seclusion. 

Investigators are now preparing a “final comprehensive report,” according to the news release. A copy of the report, along with an executive summary, will then be shared with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada which has “been kept informed about the investigation from its early stages.”

The report will not be made public, a Yukon RCMP spokesperson said in an email, and there’s no timeline for its completion. 

The spokesperson also confirmed that no charges have been laid in relation to the investigation at this point. 

Three parents and an ex-staffer who spoke to CBC News last year allege children were repeatedly placed in small isolation spaces and placed in holds — including being pinned to the floor by adults or dragged from classrooms — for having tantrums or emotional outbursts.

A Yukon judge recently certified a class-action lawsuit against the government, with students who allege they were subject to holds or seclusion at Jack Hulland between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 30, 2022, eligible to join. 

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