Kindergartener Arrested, Handcuffed for Temper Tantrum
April 17, 2012
For most kindergarteners, a bad day would mean not getting what they wanted for snack time or having to sit next to the kid who always picks his boogers, but one Georgia kindergartener recently discovered a new meaning of bad day when she was arrested and handcuffed by police officers following an alleged tantrum at school.
Six-year-old Salecia Johnson was crying in the principal’s office of her elementary school and had reportedly damaged other students’ property, school property and had injured the principal (by knocking down a shelf), reports 13WMAZ. When police arrived and tried to calm her down, she resisted and was handcuffed, according to news reports.
"Our policy states that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. There is no age discrimination on that rule," Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord told the news station.
The police chief defended the handcuffing in a statement earlier today, asserting that it was done so for the little girl’s safety and only after the police officer who responded to the school had made six attempts to reach her parents. (Salecia’s mother later explained to 13WMAZ that she received the calls but couldn’t answer because she didn’t have any more minutes left.)
Once Salecia reached the police station, she was uncuffed and given a drink; she was not placed in a holding cell or jail cell. The police continued to try to reach a parent or guardian, until they were finally able to get a hold of an aunt who came to fetch her. Ultimately, Salecia will not be charged with any crime because of her age.
"She has mood swings some days, which all of us had mood swings some days. I guess that was just one of her bad days that day," said Salecia’s mother, Constance Ruff, who added that Salecia has been suspended until the start of the next school year.
Do you think the police were out of line to handcuff a six-year-old? Is there any circumstance in which you think it would be acceptable to handcuff such a young child?