Police handcuff 6-year-old student in Georgia

Let’s toss this around a little bit. What do you think about it. Here’s the police officers account of things. Also listen to what the parents have to say on the lower left side.

I see this on many different hands. That’s why I wanted to throw it out and see what everyone else thought.

The first hand I see this on is my human side. I just think it’s sad. I think it’s mighty sad that this had to even involve the police and it really makes me wonder what kind of special ed service this school has. I heard them talking about it on The View and first Sherri Shepard said there have been “many times she’s had to control Geoffrey and she hugs him so close he can’t move until he calms down.” Okay, that never happened to me BUT, a male in this day and time isn’t allowed to do this. Can you imagine what the headlines would have been then? Principal hugs child so close the child can’t move. He’d have had a sex headline for sure. He couldn’t have won no matter what.

The other hand I have as a parent who may have a child in that classroom and my child saw this child ripping down bookshelves and throwing all their belonging around and destroying everything in her path. Joy Behar then said “why not remove all the other children from the classroom and leave the kid throw a fit alone?” Alrightythen. It surprises me that she would make that statement being she used to be a teacher. First of all you can’t just leave a child who’s having this severe of a meltdown and why should all the rest of the 20 something children in that classroom have their day disrupted like this for this child who according to the mother was just “having a mood swing and it was just one of her “bad” days.” Can you imagine her in a really bad mood?

The third hand is as an employee in a public school. Parents don’t want us touching a hair on their precious children’s head. The parents run everything now and this is what it’s come to. Things can go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds and sometimes there’s no time to do anything but call 911. I had a fifth grader one day get so mad at lunch that he almost started a food fight and ran out of the building and crawled under a car. His special ed teacher came running but the police had to be called. He wouldn’t budge.

Also, nobody related to this child could be contacted. Those people interviewed said “couldn’t anything else have been done first” but they tried contacting the mother, father, aunt and the emergency contacts but nobody was available so with a “violent juvenile,” the police call is next in line. I’m not sure what they were supposed to do. She’d already knocked down a shelf in the principles office and hurt him.

So when you look at this from all sides, which one are you on?

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6 Responses to Police handcuff 6-year-old student in Georgia

  1. Laura says:

    Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I completely agree that the child needed to be restrained somehow, and that if the principal had tried – being an “evil man” – he’d have been under suspicion of some sort of sexual misconduct.

    Where were the parents? Why did they not respond to repeated calls from the school and police? I love how they show up after the fact and say that the school and police were in the wrong, but by not being available, they put the school and police in this position.

    I can say that there’s one more place to center blame, and that’s on society. We live in a world where anything more than a gently spoken word to a child is considered “abuse”. Spank your child in public, and you run the risk of CPS banging down your door, threatening to take your child. It’s happened to me, and believe me, it’s terrifying to hear those words from another adult, “I could call CPS on you for that.”

    My guess is that this child has several issues to begin with, has parents who don’t discipline, and is in a school system where the method of discipline is “positive”, meaning that they don’t want to hurt a child’s feelings so they gently discipline by giving time-outs and whatnot. I’m not saying that doesn’t work, but for some kids, it doesn’t. But nowadays, I’m not sure what else can be done; certainly spanking is out.

    Perhaps we need to rethink the whole “mainstreaming” concept. SOME children do not do well in a regular classroom setting, and putting them there is detrimental to both the child and the others in the classroom. Just because a large class is “normal” for 25 kids doesn’t mean it’s “normal” for the 26th. And perhaps kids like this should be sent to a special school where their special needs can be better met.

    Meanwhile, I think the school did all that they could. When the parents don’t respond, the next best thing, for the safety of all involved, is the police. And if they need handcuffs to manage the situation, so be it.

    • Joy says:

      It really is terribly sad. The parents kind of acted like it wasn’t that big of a deal. Can you imagine? This is the root of the problem. This girl knocked down a shelf in the principles office and hurt him! She threw other kids backpacks and ruined things inside.

      Our special ed had a small padded room if we needed it but that was providing you were anywhere close to it. It’s not like you can start tackling kids to get them there.

      The other thing is parents seem to think they’re the only ones who can tell their kids what to do. Kids go home and say “I didn’t do anything” and the parents go marching up to the school with fire in their eyes. Don’t get me wrong. I believed my kids if what they told me was believable but they, like me, were SCARED when they had to bring home a “I was naughty” note. I was too. My mom would have knocked me into next week if I got in trouble at school. But now, parent’s are a lot different. They seem to want to try and do it all alone and not “it takes a village to raise a child.” Times that way have really changed for the worse.

      • Laura says:

        Whenever I hear that phrase I think back to the Clinton years, when Hillary wrote that book, “It takes a village”. It was completely and utterly trashed – even the concept that it takes anyone but the parents to raise a child. And now we see what happens – the ‘this is MY CHILD’ mentality is clashing with the ‘village’ because both want complete control. What a mess. And i don’t know the answer. Well, I do, but it’s not going to happen, because it requires a LOT of responsibility and a LOT of non-pc responses. And that’s just not ok anymore.

        • skl1 says:

          “It takes a village” when it comes to ponying up resources. “You have no right to interfere with my child” when it comes to anything restrictive.

          Personally I prefer “don’t interfere with my parenting,” except that some people have forgotten that it comes with a lot of responsibility. You don’t impose an undisiciplined child on “the village” and expect “the village” to just suck it up no matter what.

  2. skl1 says:

    This is another case where I really needed to be there to be able to take a “side.” But I’ll wing it anyway. It seems to me this child has deep-seated problems and the parents kind of thrust this problem on the school. They sent a child to school who could not control herself, and then when something had to be done, all you hear from them is “don’t.” What is their positive suggestion, and how could they be proactive about it so things don’t come to this? As the mother of a KG child, I consider it 1oo% my responsibility to prepare my child for school, both physically and behaviorally. If my child is not able to conduct herself properly at school, I’ll look for ways to shore up her weaknesses. Of course we don’t know if these parents have tried or not, but based on their response, it doesn’t sound like it. Now some people are going to say that the parents don’t have resources bla bla bla, but all you have to do is ask for special needs testing and it is free. If they did not ask, they must be in denial about how problematic this behavior really is.

    The other thing to remember is that sometimes, kids act out like this not because their parents are too lax, but because they are too severe or completely inconsistent in their discipline.

    The other aspect related to children/families in general is that schools are being expected to tolerate a ridiculous amount of incorrigible behavior in my opinion. My kids have a classmate who is a frequent (almost daily) discipline problem and is violent toward classmates. I know she’s bitten my kid at least once, among many other things. She’s young for the grade and her parents stated at the KG orientation that they planned on having her do two years of KG, so it’s not like she “needs” to be there. So why is the teacher expected to put up with that crap all the time, as if she has nothing better to do? The only thing the teacher can do is move the kid’s behavior indicator from green to yellow (warning), red (timeout), and purple (call parent). The parent is called very often, and I’m thinking as a parent, why would I go on sending my kid to school (a year young) if this is how it’s going? Meanwhile when my kids get on “yellow,” they get some memorable discipline from me so they will shape up. I know all kids are different, but I can’t help thinking this is a philosopy difference – my kid needs to behave in school versus the school needs to accommodate my kid.

    As for the school’s reaction, I think schools should have a safe place where they can take kids when this sort of thing happens. It’s true that they can’t really do anything that involves physically disciplining or restraining the child. Every time you hear of a child being “restrained” in school, it is a big drama and often a lawsuit. I can see the pros and cons of this. But that doesn’t mean they should just throw up their hands and force the teacher and the other students to drop everything because one child is having a “mood swing.” So my approach would be to designate one small room to be kept in a condition where a child can go there and safely throw a tantrum if it comes to that.

    Calling the police does sound extreme, but if they really tried to contact everyone close to the child and nobody was available, how long should they have left her there to trash the place, and afterwards, what should they have done with her? Sent her back to class? I don’t think so. This wasn’t your everyday tantrum; and a 6yo child can hurt others if she is out of control. A commenter on another site suggested that the right people to call would have been the emergency response folks at CPS. Maybe that is correct, but I don’t know that that would really make a difference to the child or the family. I guess I don’t consider the whole “handcuffs” thing to be that different from any other official action, but maybe I’m wrong on that.

    I’d also like to know: what is being done for this child now? Has she been referred for an evaluation and psychological services? The parents said she was expelled, which is fine by me, but she still needs to learn how to control herself.

  3. Nikki says:

    Boy. Tough situation. Honestly I think there was no winning here. No matter how they would have handled it, someone wouldn’t have been okay with it. A 6 year old being handcuffed seems extreme, but what if they physically held her down??? They would have been in trouble for that! It’s sad, all around. This child may fear police now. The parents need to take this more serious. They acted like it was no biggie. A tantrum is one thing. Sounds like she exploded! I, for one, am glad I’m not put in that position, and hope I never am. I wasn’t there, but I find it really hard to believe they’d put the cuffs on so tight that it would hurt her. If she was hurt by them, it was most likely because she was being so aggressive.

    What were they supposed to do?!

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