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Handcuffing a Kindergartner: A Step Too Far?
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
This week, a Georgia kindergartner decided to throw a doozy of a tantrum. When she got so violent that adults in the classroom for some reason couldn't control her, and her mother couldn't be reached, the police were called. They promptly handcuffed the child and drove her down to the station to wait for her mother to arrive.

Police spokespersons say this is procedure, and there are no age limits set on it.

So, what do you think? Should they have handcuffed a six-year-old?

What other options do you think the school administration could have applied in order to keep the police out of the classroom, if any?

Weigh in!
Reply
 
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jenlewi responded:
There was a child who went to the same grade school as my daughter, and he had severe behavioral problems. He genuinely WANTED to be good. He never meant to hurt anyone, and he didn't want to freak out, but he'd lose it every so often. During one of his episodes, his mother came to try to calm him, but her presence only enraged him further. Two good-size adult male cops ended up tackling the first-grade boy and sitting on him to keep him from hurting himself or others. Each of those men weighed between three and four times as much as that boy, and he still thrashed enough to give them a ride for twenty minutes before it was safe to let him up.

With that in mind, I don't think the cops were wrong to handcuff that child. If she was violent enough to have to call the police, restraining her any way they could and getting her away from other students was absolutely the right thing to do.

It's sad that there are children who are already so damaged at such a young age that they are that violent, but the priority must be to protect the other children.
 
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brunosbud responded:
Cops are people, too. They can make a poor decision like anybody else. With that said, law enforcement is a unique profession that, at times, requires split second judgment to protect not just themselves but the communities they serve.

Don't like their decision?...

Walk a mile in their shoes
...
 
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3point14 responded:
I don't see an issue with it. I'd rather a kid get handcuffed than tear his arm out of his socket trying to restrain him or have him injure either himself, a teacher or another student in a rage.
 
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stephs_3_kidz responded:
I think it was the smartest move. If a teacher had physically restrained the little girl, that teacher would have lost his/her job, no doubt. So letting the authorities handle it was the best call.

Also, if the little girl was behaving like that, obviously something's wrong at home, so maybe this taught her a very hard lesson. All I know is, if it was my child throwing chairs and behaving violently at school, I certainly wouldn't have objected to them being handcuffed and taken to the police station. As harsh and extreme as it may sound, that's how I feel. I love my children with all my heart but I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior.

I don't think that there was anything else the school administration could do, it sounds like they called the mother, tried to calm the child down, and it escalated quickly. In order to protect the little girl, and the other students, and their JOBS, I think they all made the best decision that could have been made.
 
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ImMe26 responded:
I think it was appropriate. Her behavior was out of control.
 
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EleanorAnne responded:
What if this child injured another child with her violent tantrum? We would be reading a different headline - The school did not do enough to protect others.

If she did not respond to the teacher or administration, and policy prohibits school employees from touching children, I don't see another choice.

I'd like to know more about the history of this kid? Has she had a history of behavior problems? If so, maybe this could have been prevented by "handling" her differently.

It's sad!
Ellie
 
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lbcash responded:
I just recently witnessed an 8 maybe 9 year old girl very violently abusing her mother in Toys R Us. I was in such shock that I froze and didn't know what to do. I had my phone in my hand to call the cops but I didn't. I posted this experience on the 4 and 5 year old community. I was quick to judge that mother and how that child was raised. After a few responses from some parents my eyes were opened and I realized that that child could have very easily had a disorder. I had two parents to give me a different outlook on there own experiences and both of them being familiar with these types of violent episodes said that calling the police would have beent the right thing to do. To say the least I'm not near as quick to judge anyones parenting abilities anymore. Can't be too quick to judge the parent, but making sure everyone is safe is the best thing to do.
 
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brunosbud replied to lbcash's response:
"that child could have very easily had a disorder..."
Yes, that's malparentitis: the unfortunate predicament of having parents who haven't a clue.

Lot of that going around...
 
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tlkittycat1968 replied to brunosbud's response:
Not necessarily. My aunt knows a woman whose son was brain damaged at birth when his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Some of the first words he spoke were "I'm going to get a knife and kill you." This mom had quit her job to make sure her son was taken care of and is an excellent advocate for her son; I've met her.

There are some kids, for example severely autistic kids, who have behavior problems through no fault of their parents. The wiring in their brains just isn't right.
 
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brunosbud replied to tlkittycat1968's response:
"There are some kids, for example severely autistic kids, who have behavior problems through no fault of their parents."

I won't hold you, literally, to those words...

There are findings suggesting links between Obesity and Type 2 (or Gestational) Diabetes (of mothers-to-be) and Autism. If this were to be established, I believe you would urge your own beautiful children to be in the best health of their lives before starting their families, some day...

This would be a reasonable assumption, right, ms. kittycat?
If that was proven to be true, you would tell them that, wouldn't you?











 
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tlkittycat1968 replied to brunosbud's response:
I know what study you're referring to. The link isn't proven, it's just suggested.

Autism aside, there are kids who have behavior problems through no fault of their parents. There are kids who have bipolar disorder, are diagnosed schizofrenic, etc. Are you going to say those illnesses are the parents fault?
 
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brunosbud replied to tlkittycat1968's response:
If I say "yes", will you pile more childhood cognitive disorders into this discussion and throw that word "fault" at me, again?

If so, my answer is "no".


Regardless, Ms. kittycat, you are right about one thing: Nothing's been proven...

...yet.
 
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Anon_16867 responded:
the real problem is that we cant beat their ass at home like some of us got beat...cant even touch a child these days ..but the police can cuff them ..taser them if they had too ..slam u all on the ground with knees all in ur back..many as needed to get the job done...giving a child a time out is not worth a damn..dont care what anyone says..u see how they turn on u like talking back, screaming at the parent in public .telling the parent what they going too do..seen it too many times in the store or the mall...then they put all these kids on these pills and call them crazy...so many parent are in denial about what their kids wont do ..they just dont do it in front of ur face ...until you get that call saying your kids is in jail.on drugs..or been in a drunk driving accident...we need too open our eyes and closed the mouth sometimes..and you wonder who is stuck on stupid ..the kid or the parent...A GOOD ASS WHIPPING AND SOME OF THESE KIDS WILL TURN OUT BETTER
 
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DoOvers replied to brunosbud's response:
There are many possible disorders. I am not saying this is the case and I agree with the cops. I work with autistic children and to correct tkitty's misconception that someone needs to be "severely autistic" to throw a tantrum is outright untrue. Persons throughout the autistic spectrum can be triggered. In this case hypersensitivities to different stimuli can often trigger behaviors. Removing the stimuli removes the behavior. Think of having super-sensitive hearing and having someone standing next to you with a bull horn screaming in your ear. It would be incredibly painful.


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