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Should Police Have Handcuffed A Six-Year-Old Ga. Kindergartner for Tantrum & Placed Her In A Holding Cell?

Associated Press –  (April 16, 2012)

               Police handcuff Ga. kindergartner for tantrum - Yahoo! News hours agoAssociated Press – 12 hrs ago  Monday, April 16, 2012


On Sunday, March 11, 2012, on Comcast Chan. 26, OneWorld Progressive Institute presented a community education program titled: Profiling the CT Juvenile Justice System.  Our guests were:  Abby Anderson, Executive Director, Juvenile Justice Alliance, John Gill, Director, Juvenile Justice Services, and Kyisha Velazquez, JRB Program Manager NH Family Alliance & Hamden Juvenile Review Board.  In that program Abby Anderson and the other guests talked about the fact that CT does not have a lowest age when children cannot be arrested, so as seen in this Associated Press story linked above a six-year old child in kindergarten was arrested and handcuffed for throwing a tandrum in school!

 Are we saying that children at any age should be allowed to damage property and injure others?  Of course not; that would be irresponsible.  But as Abby Anderson pointed out in our Juvenile Justice program, when White children act-out negatively in school or elsewhere, they are most often evaluated for mental health issues; they are clinicalized.  When Black children act out negatively, they are criminalized and the police are called, and the children are arrested, handcuffed and often locked up by police until parents can come and take responsibility for them.  WHY IS THIS SO?  We are aware that some of the perceptions about Black children being violent are so engrained that we react without thought.

OneWorld plans to reair the Profiling CT Juvenile Justice System program in June.  Unfortunately, in the Hamden, New Haven and West Haven area (Comcast Chan. 26) OneWorld programs are restricted to one airing per week and that is on Sundays at 7pm. OneWorld has no control over this restriction; however, the guests on this program were very on target in helping us to understand what is happening in the CT Juvenile Justice System.  It is clearly also happening in other places. 

Below are links to various media reports on this story of a six-year old being placed in handcuffs.  We also invite you to go to the other links listed to learn about America's Zero Tolerance School Policy.  What exactly is going on in our schools? Are the police now the line of first response when small children throw tantrums? Or is there something else going on here? Click the various links from the many sources listed. Read the complete story. Then ask yourself these and other questions.  What exactly are we doing as a society? What are the real objectives we are trying to achieve?

Questions to Ponder Seriously:  Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves are:  

1) What do we expect of and from our Police Depts.?  Are we putting them in untenable situations?

2) Should the police be called on a six-year-old kindergarten student who has no weapons, but who seems to be very emotionally upset, or even out-of-control? 

3)  Are the police trained social workers and  psychologists?  What are they expected to do except arrest the child?  What is the real purpose in calling the cops?

4)  When the cops are called in these situations what does it say about the professional skills and abilities of the adults who are supposed to be in charge of the classroom or school where these events occur?

5)  What is the purpose of the 1994 Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools in 2012?  Please visit this link to learn more and to read the Pros and Cons of the debate:  Debate: The "zero tolerance" policy in US schools is an ...

6)  Read a 2009 comprehensive report that shows the results of schools shifting from a prevention and correction model to a reactive and punitive model here:  NASP CQ 37-5 - Zero Tolerance Policies and the Public Schools ...  Finally, read the current report at this link:

7.) New studies confirm lack of evidence for “zero tolerance” programs ...

 Link to updated article By JEFF MARTIN and JERI CLAUSING | Associated Press – 53 mins ago Police handcuff Georgia kindergartner for tantrum | The Salt L ake ...  

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police in Georgia handcuffed a kindergartner after the girl threw a tantrum and the police chief defended the action.

The girl's family demanded Tuesday that this central Georgia city change policy so that other children aren't treated the same way. They say the child was shaken up by being put in a cell at the police station.

Salecia Johnson, 6, was accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing furniture in an outburst Friday at Creekside Elementary School, Macon television station WMAZ-TV ( reported. Police said the girl knocked over a shelf that injured the principal.

The school called police. The police report says when an officer tried to calm the child in the principal's office, she resisted and was handcuffed. The girl was charged with simple assault and damage to property.

. Police handcuff Georgia kindergartner for tantrum

Fox News‎ - ATLANTA – A kindergartner who threw a tantrum at her small-town Georgia school was taken away in handcuffs, her arms behind her back.

News for Police handcuff Ga. kindergartner for tantrum

  Police in Ga. handcuff kindergartner, 6, for tantrum; schools wrest... - Washington Post -


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