A furious mother is demanding answers from officials after her 8-year-old son was put in restraints and injected with a sedative for acting out in school. The Toronto woman says her child was put in a police car, taken to the hospital, and given a tranquilizer before she had a chance to get to the school.
Earlier this month, Debbie Kiroff received a disturbing call from the principal at Holland Landing Public School. According to the principal, Kiroff’s son had an argument with another student and began acting out by running around and climbing on things.
The principal asked the mother to come pick up her child. However, Kiroff was at work and unable to get there right away, so her 24-year-old daughter went to the school instead.
At some point before Kiroff’s daughter arrived, nearby teachers lost sight of the boy. Panicked, the school called police.
Per the daughter’s account of the events, her younger brother was already on the way to the hospital by the time she showed up.
“Mom, they’ve already got him in the police car. They’re taking him to the hospital because he’s too angry.”
When Ms. Kiroff arrived at Southlake Regional Health, she was not allowed to see her son at first. After nearly 20 minutes in the waiting room, a healthcare worker explained that her son “was out of control” and that he had to be restrained. The boy was also subjected to an injection of a sedative.
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Shocked, Kiroff responded with disbelief.
“Oh, you don’t need my consent for that?”
The official hospital response was “no.” The staff member informed Ms. Kiroff that hospital policy calls for such procedures in “dire situations.”
“No one wants to use restraints; it is a last measure and is done only in dire situations deemed an ’emergency.’ In an ’emergency’ situation, our concern for our patient determines how long a restraint is used,” the hospital said in a statement, per a CBC Toronto report.
Ms. Kiroff did finally get to see her son. She says her son appeared traumatized and had a look in his eyes that she never saw before. However, she does admit her son suffers from various behavioral problems.
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The 8-year-old was in the restraints for nearly two hours before the hospital let him go. He stumbled back to the car with his mother, and they went home.
While not discussing specifics, the York Region District School Board believes the teachers acted appropriately in the situation. Per policy, they must notify the police when a situation arises that may put a student’s safety at risk.
Hesitantly, Ms. Kiroff’s son has since returned to school.
“He’s hesitant… he never wants to be back at the hospital,” said Ms. Kiroff. “How do you do that to my 8-year-old son? To me, he’s an injured child.”
Currently, the boy is on a waiting list to go to a new school. One with specialized programs designed for children with behavioral issues like her son. Unfortunately, the wait may be a year or longer. For now, Ms. Kiroff will work with her son’s current school on developing a plan to deal with any future incidents.
[Featured Image by MPIX/Shutterstock]