Mother calls for new law on restraint in schools
A mother whose son was physically restrained at a special school when he was just 11 is launching plans for a new law in his name.
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Calum Morrison, now 23, has learning disabilities, autism and epilepsy.
His mother Beth said she was still traumatised more than a decade later by how her son was treated at school.
She wants the current guidelines on physical restraint to become legally enforceable, with mandatory recording and reporting of all incidents.
Ms Morrison also wants compulsory training for all teachers and support staff in how to de-escalate difficult situations and understand children’s needs so that physical restraint can be avoided.
« I think the people of Scotland will be shocked to learn that currently there is no law that protects their child being physically and forcefully restrained in school or educational settings, » she said.
The charity Enable Scotland is helping her efforts to launch Calum’s Law – and Labour MSP Daniel Johnson supports plans to introduce a members’ bill to the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish government said restraint in schools must only ever be used as a last resort.
It added it was exploring options for strengthening the legal framework in this area.
Restraint and seclusion, which involves locking someone in a room or safe space, have often been used in educational settings – particularly for children with disabilities and additional support needs.
Ms Morrison told the BBC that since she started campaigning 12 years ago more than 2,500 other families had contacted her because their children had been hurt while being physically restrained.