No answers over Australian school’s cage for autistic boy

Canberra, June 11 (IANS) Parents of children at a primary school in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, where a boy with autism was reportedly placed inside a cage, said they were still awaiting answers.

In April, it was reported a 10-year-old student was laced in a cage-like structure, termed a “withdrawal space” by the authorities, ABC reported on Thursday.

Australia Capital Territory Education Minister Joy Burch had earlier said there would be a rigorous review that would be completed in a number of weeks.

But almost two months later, the investigation has not been completed.

A parent said the school community was being kept in the dark.

“Our family has a young child at the primary school and we are very disappointed at how the minister, department and school has never provided any communication to the broad parent community about what happened,” he said.

“It was weeks before we were even told the school principal had been moved to another role in the department, with no explanation provided.”

“Parents have been kept in the dark and, in our case, we were shocked to find out what happened via our elder children,” he said.

Burch said the investigation into the incident was taking longer than anticipated.

“It’s important that we do it right, and whilst there’s an expectation to move as quickly as possible, we need to be very mindful and make sure that we do it in a respectful way, a proper way and the right way,” she said.

The principal of the school has resigned.

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