Were Police in Georgia Justified in Removing a Kindergartner from School in Handcuffs? [POLL]
A story gaining national recoginition is out of Milledgeville, GA and centers around 6-year old Salecia Johnson. Salecia was recently removed from her school in handcuffs after throwing a tantrum that led to the destruction of school property and injuring the principal.
First the story from Georgia TV station, WMAZ, then my thoughts.
Ok, my turn.
First of all, this is more than a “mood swing” as the mother suggests. This is a full on meltdown. And it’s far more than “misbehaving” as the other women in the video suggests. Misbehaving is coloring on the walls with crayon when they know full well it’s something they shouldn’t do. Misbehaving is taking something from another kid just because they want it. Misbehaving is taking wads of toilet paper, wetting them down in the bathroom sink, and throwing them against the ceiling in the school restroom like I did a few times in grade school (it sticks and is apparently hard to remove once it dries…so I’ve been told.)
No, this wasn’t “misbehaving”. I would even hesitate to call it a tantrum. My kids throw tantrums which at most results in tears and stomping their feet down the hall to the bedroom after my wife and I send them there to cool off. What Salecia did was put not only her own safety at risk, but the safety of the adults attempting to diffuse the situation which is why I am perfectly OK with the officer placing cuffs on her. At that point, there was no other way to stop her from destroying more property or worse yet, possibly injuring more people. Imagine what could have happened had she broken the glass frame above the paper shredder. She could have seriously injured one of the staff members attempting to calm her down by cutting them, or worse, she could have cut herself.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be too happy if I found out my 7 or 5 year old had been handcuffed, but if it was justified because they were acting like young Salecia Johnson, then my anger would be more with them than with the officer. I realize that’s pretty easy to say without having experienced it, but at this moment, I can honestly say I believe that. What about you?