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8-Year-Old Boy Pepper-Sprayed by Police at School

The Today Show

And you thought your kid’s tantrums were bad…Second-grader Aidan flew into such a rage during a classroom fit that teachers barricaded themselves in an office and called the police, who subsequently used pepper spray to immobilize him. We’re not talking tears and foot-stamping; Aidan allegedly ripped molding from the walls, threw chairs and a TV stand, and threatened to kill his teachers with a stick. Key aside: Aidan’s Colorado school is in the same district as Columbine.

Police defend their actions, and the school district’s superintendent, Peg Kastberg, says they had no choice. “They tried to de-escalate the behavior that occurred; [Aidan] was swinging a stick, he was using it as a weapon, he was violent, he was verbal, he was abusive,” she told NBC News.

Aidan’s mom counters that since he was in a classroom for behavioral issues, teachers should have expected this and known how to handle him. She also criticizes them for not calling a special police unit trained to handle children in crisis situations. She claims he is fine at home, and has not been diagnosed with any mental conditions. Check out the interview with him on the Today Show:

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Could using pepper spray on an 8-year-old ever be justified? Or, given student violence in schools, is law enforcement right to deal with this as they did?

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