Principal suspended after placing autistic 10-year-old in cage

Principal suspended after placing autistic 10-year-old in cage

An investigation is underway in Canberra into how a school principal allowed an autistic 10-year-old to be placed in a cage in a classroom.

The school, in Canberra, is being investigated by the ACT Education Department after the boy's parents complained to the Human Rights Commission about the treatment. 

The report on says that the cage, measuring two metres by two metres, was made from pool fencing and it was used as a "withdrawal space" for the boy.

The metal cage was installed on March 10 but speaking to the media yesterday ACT Education Minister Joy Burch said:

“Whether it was in the school for 17 days, 17 minutes or 17 seconds, it had no place there. Words can’t express the disappointment and horror I have that in our schools anyone would consider a structure of this nature in any way, shape or form acceptable.” 

The news comes as an advocacy group for children with disabilities in Australia claims that other schools had also locked children into rooms for "timeouts" and that some had even employed martial arts instructors for "behaviour management".

The principal has been suspended while the matter is investigated and the child has remained at the school, where two extra special needs teachers have also been appointed.