As the Alberta government reconvened for the first day of the fall session Monday, another group gathered outside.

“We do not need prison cells in Alberta classrooms,” a speaker said into a microphone, receiving cheers and applause from the crowd at the legislature’s steps.

The group consisted of parents and advocates who are calling on the provincial government for quicker action on what are known as seclusion rooms.

Although the system calls them “time out spaces,” the Edmonton Public School Board confirmed two facilities use such spaces: Steinhauer School and Overlander School.

Inclusion Alberta said it has received around 600 reports from parents who say their child was locked in a seclusion room for bad behavior.

One report came from Jenn Thompson.

The mother said her son came home visibly shaken from being confined.

“All the lights were turned on, and all the doors had to be open in our house, and he refused to go into the bathroom anymore,” she recalled.

Attention to the issue peaked in September when parents of an autistic boy filed a $275,000 lawsuit against the province. They claimed their son was locked up naked and alone in a Sherwood Park school in 2015.

Inclusion Alberta then launched a survey to find out if other students with disabilities had been secluded or physically restrained in Alberta.

“Many of the stories that we’ve been hearing recently have been very unacceptable,” acknowledged Education Minister David Eggen.

He has appointed a working group to recommend rules for how seclusion rooms are used.

He says the taskforce has met twice and its conclusion is “a matter of weeks.”

However, the parents gathered outside the legislature Monday said that’s not quick enough.

“We really don't want any kind of confinement or restraint of children,” Thompson said.

“No child should face that at school.”

Edmonton Catholic Schools said one of its 96 schools uses a “safe room.”

The EPSB would not give a number on how many city schools have “time out spaces.”

With files from Bill Fortier