The Whitehorse RCMP has concluded an investigation into the use of force by a teacher towards a student at Jack Hulland Elementary. No charges are being pursued in relation to the Jan. 27 incident — one of a string of problems at the school.
In a Feb. 14 statement, the RCMP explained how they were called by Family and Children Services (FCS) the day after the incident, beginning their investigation.
“Police ensured that the student was not at further risk, then monitored the statement collected by an FCS investigator with the student involved and reviewed the incident report submitted by the teacher involved to school administration,” an RCMP statement reads.
“Based on the evidence gathered and information provided to investigators, and a review of case law around similar Criminal Code investigations, there will be no criminal charges stemming from this incident.”
While the Department of Education would not provide further information about the incident to protect privacy, their representative did say the school administration communicated directly with parents about it.
The RCMP notes that the investigation is related solely to the incident on Jan. 27. Police still have an open, ongoing investigation into historic reports of the use of force at the school. The RCMP pledged that further updates will be provided related to that investigation when available and appropriate.
In an email to the News, an education department representative wrote that the government is continuing to cooperate with the RCMP investigation into the use of force and holds at Jack Hulland. They are conducting interviews with staff and reviewing all workplace risk assessments and other relevant reports from the school over the past five years.
The education spokesperson acknowledged the stress parents and the school are under.
They said all staff at the school are scheduled to complete non-violent crisis intervention training on Feb. 23 and 24 as a response to a priority request from parents and the school council. The goal of the training is to offer proven strategies for preventing and safely diffusing anxious or hostile behaviour at the earliest possible stage. It is offered to all educators working in Yukon schools.
Along with specific work at Jack Hulland, which houses a supportive learning program for students with emotional and behavioural difficulties, work to improve inclusive and special education in the territory is ongoing.
The education department accepted all the recommendations of a review of inclusive and special education released last year and is working to implement them.
“We are currently doing this important work, which is not specific to Jack Hulland, but is intended to improve our overall approach to supporting students in all Yukon schools to ensure they can succeed in their learning,” the department stated.
Contact Jim Elliot at email@example.com