Seriously? Police Handcuff Kindergartner for Having a Tantrum at School

Is any tantrum bad enough to justify handcuffing a kindergartner?

Seriously? Police Handcuff Kindergartner for Having a Tantrum at School

Is any tantrum bad enough to justify handcuffing a kindergartner?

-Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo! Shine


Six-year-old Salecia Johnson was having a massive temper tantrum at Creekside Elementary School when school officials called the police in Midgeville, Georgia, on Friday.

But after failing to calm the 6-year-old, the police officer handcuffed the kindergartner with her hands behind her back, walked her to the police cruiser, and took her down to the police station.

“She called the police on me for no reason,” the little girl told WMAZ-TV. Pointing to her wrists, the child added, “It hurt on my arms.”

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According to the police report, Salecia had been sent to the principal’s office that morning for pushing two other students and throwing items off of the teacher’s desk. The police were called after the girl refused to go inside the principal’s office and began running down the hallway screaming, the report said.

By the time the police arrived, the 6-year-old was in the office and had ripped calendars, photos, and other decorations off of the walls, thrown books and toys, and knocked over a small shelf that hit the principal in the leg, the report said. At the police station, the little girl was charged with simple assault and damage to property; she’s also been suspended from school until August. Given her age, she won’t have to appear in court.

The arresting officer wrote in the police report that the little girl had had to be “restrained with a pair of handcuffs for her safety as well as others safety in the area.”

The town’s acting police chief, Dray Swicord, defended the arresting officer on Tuesday. “Our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back,” he told the news station. “There is no age discrimination on that rule.”

While her mother, Constance Ruff, says that Salecia is prone to “mood swings,” (“I guess that was just one of her bad days that day,” she told WMAZ-TV), the girl’s aunt, Candace Ruff — who picked her up from the police station that day — underscored the absurdity of the situation.

“Call the police? Is that the first step? Or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child?” she asked. “She might have misbehaved, but I don’t think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department.”

More from Yahoo! Shine:

Toddler tantrum gets family booted from JetBlue flight

Temper tantrums: What your toddler is trying to tell you (and how you can help)

Should tantrums be diagnosed as mental disorders?

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0 thoughts on “Seriously? Police Handcuff Kindergartner for Having a Tantrum at School

  1. I have been a teacher and school counselor for many years. I haven’t seen children that violent many times, but I have seen it. Children that get that out of control MUST be stopped before they hurt themselves or others. If it takes the police, it takes the police.

    Of course any child that young, that is that out of control, is bound to have some serious parenting issues and possibly mental ones, too.

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