My name is Beth Morrison and I am a member of ENABLE Scotland. I want to share my son Calums story with you.
Calum has multiple and complex learning disabilities and limited communication.
When Calum was in Primary 6, he came home from school with bruises and marks on his body. I was told Calum refused to get off a bike and this had resulted in him being restrained by four adult staff who held him for up to forty minutes on the floor.
During this time, Calum urinated, and only then did the staff release their hold on him. He was then forced to sit in his urine-soaked clothes whilst another member of staff stood over him with an egg timer to indicate he was in time out. Calum had no understanding of the concept of time out or punishment.
You can imagine how I felt as Calums mummy when I heard those words. Today, Calum is a happy healthy boy. He moved schools, and I devoted my life to preventing this from ever happening again to other children. But last year, we know that seclusion and restraint practices were used on 387 children, 2,788 times in Scotlands schools.
Thats why ENABLE Scotland has launched the in safe hands? campaign to press for an end to unregulated, unsupported and unacceptable use of restraint and seclusion against pupils who have a learning disability in Scotlands schools.
Im proud to be a member of such an effective campaigning charity my ENABLE family I call them. But like any charity, ENABLE Scotland relies on donations to carry on fighting for an equal society for every person who has a learning disability.
This Christmas, as schools celebrate with parties and concerts; as other children sing, dance and laugh children like Calum are being locked in small enclosed spaces simply for trying to communicate with the world around them.
We can change this and make things better, but we need your help. Please donate to ENABLE Scotland today and help us to ensure our children are in safe hands this Christmas and beyond. We really cant do it without you.