Investigation into use of holds, isolation spaces at Jack Hulland school 'progressing well,' Yukon RCMP say

A swing set is seen in front of Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse, Yukon. RCMP launched an investigation more than a year ago into allegations of the use of excessive force and isolation spaces at the school.  (Kiyoshi Maguire/CBC - image credit)
A swing set is seen in front of Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse, Yukon. RCMP launched an investigation more than a year ago into allegations of the use of excessive force and isolation spaces at the school. (Kiyoshi Maguire/CBC - image credit)

Yukon RCMP say they've so far interviewed or spoken with more than 150 people in their investigation into allegations of the use of excessive force and isolation spaces at Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse — and police are still looking for more possible witnesses.

RCMP began the investigation along with the government's Family and Children's Services branch in November 2021 when they became aware of allegations that students had been placed in holds and in isolation spaces at the school.

"The goals for the investigation will be primarily to ensure student safety and to conduct a criminal investigation into these matters," RCMP said in a news release at the time.

On Wednesday, police issued an update.

"The investigation has been active for over a year during which time people from both inside and outside Yukon have continued to contact police," a news release says.

It says police have spoke to more than 150 witnesses, and reviewed "many hundreds" of documents from the school and the Department of Education.

"The Whitehorse RCMP remain committed to completing a thorough and impartial investigation. The investigation is progressing well," the release states.

It says police are limited in what they can say right now, as it's still an active investigation. They're also asking any teachers, staff or parents who have information about the allegations and have not yet spoken to police to contact them at 867-667-5551.

The allegations have sparked several other reviews, and in October a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed to Yukon Supreme Court. Two representative plaintiffs, still children, and their guardians are suing both the Yukon Department of Education and Jack Hulland Elementary School Council.