NOTE: My father was born in 1922. He'd have been in first grade in 1928 or so. He used to tell us a story that he could not use scissors well as a tot. Nor could he ride a bike. His family was Irish Italian poor, 10 kids. Bikes were a luxury. Scissors were to make clothing, not crafts. One day, his teacher marched the entire class down the street to my father's house. The teacher knocked on the door. My grandmother, Hannah Veronica Sullivan Rossi answered. The teacher then proceeded to shame my father in front of his class and his mother, proclaiming that he was deficient in cutting paper. My grandmother took a broom, and beat the teacher with it, shooing her off their porch. End of story. I miss her. I think I miss 1928 too. Kim
A Toronto-area mother is searching for answers after she says her son was taken to a hospital alone in the back of a police car, placed in restraints and injected with a sedative because he was acting out on the first day of school.
Debbie Kiroff says her eight-year-old, who loves cooking, Lego and swimming, has behavioural issues and a severe learning disability. So when the principal at Holland Landing Public School phoned her on Sept. 5 to say his behaviour was "escalating," it didn't come as a shock.
"They know he's a runner," she told CBC Toronto. "When I first brought him to the school, I said to them, 'He likes to run. That's his release.'"
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For Kiroff's son, the frog pond near the school is where he finds calm. "He usually runs to the same spot near the little forest that they go to for day trips."
'Mom, they've already got him in the police car'
But when he disappeared from teachers' sight on the first day, Kiroff says the school called police. What happened next has her sounding the alarm about what she says is a lack of supports for children with difficulties, and she's left with questions about the appropriateness of both the school's and hospital's response.
It all began with an argument with another boy over who should be able to use a computer.
"He's running around right now, he's got a ruler, he's climbing this, climbing that," Kiroff says the principal told her, asking her to come pick her son up.
Kiroff says she works for Canada Post and had a truck full of packages she had to unload first. In the meantime, she says, she sent her daughter, who had her baby with her, to the school.
While her daughter made her way over, the principal called and said the eight-year-old was running off of school property, says Kiroff.
By the time she got there, it was too late.
"Mom, they've already got him in the police car. They're taking him to the hospital because he's too angry," she says her daughter told her on the phone.
You don't need my consent for that?'
Kiroff's son was taken to Southlake Regional Health Centre. She says she had to wait 15 to 20 minutes before being allowed inside. Read more here.