6 year old handcuffed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by iteachbx, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 17, 2012

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/17/justice/georgia-student-handcuffed/

    What do you think of this?

    I don't completely agree with calling the police in the first place, however what really struck me about the article was the subtitle I saw on my iphone, (On the website its on the left hand corner underneath the video under "highlights") It reads, "6-year-old handcuffed for tantrum in principal's office."

    Despite whether or not you agree with the whole handcuffing aspect I think calling this a "tantrum" is just not fair to the school or the police. In general when I hear the word tantrum I think of a kid kicking and screaming because they didn't get the cookie or toy they wanted. If you've been in a situation with a child who has become extremely aggressive and dangerous to themselves or others, I'm sure you wouldn't describe it as "oh little Johnny had a tantrum today." In my opinion it just gives the wrong idea to people who have never been in this situation.

    Before I started teaching I would have been completely disgusted by this article, the school and the police. However being in the situation where I've had a kid holding a chair over his head threatening to throw it at a group of students or flipping tables over, or throwing pencils at my head, I can somewhat sympathize with the situation. I've gotten to the point where I've been like "okay there's nothing else I can do to protect myself or the other students, I need to call the school safety officer, guidance counselor, AP or whatever." However what happens when you're the principal or the guidance counselor and you just can't calm the child down? I know when my student gets like that there is no calming him down or reasoning with him until he literally just tires himself out.

    Obviously a student who has issues like this needs some kind of serious intervention/behavior plan to prevent them from getting into this crisis state. But sometimes there are just days my particular student will come in and I can just tell from 8am that no matter what I do it's not going to be a good day.

    Does your school have a policy/procedure for students who get so out of control they are dangerous to themselves or others? What is it? Does it need to be implemented often? I teach in an urban area and there are many issues like this one.
     
  2.  
  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 17, 2012

    There is always more to the story, but I don't think the school over-reacted. I have seen some very violent kindergarten students. Despite a number of interventions and referrals, they still have violent outbursts, where they are harmful to themselves, other students and staff members, and school property. Most staff members are not allowed to restrain students, but police officers are. I am sure they didn't go ahead and call the police because she was having a "temper tantrum."

    I hope this student gets the counseling and help she needs. It's scary when small children act like this.
     
  4. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2012

    I think it's more scary that a room full of adults can't control a six year old without having to handcuff them.
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2012

    I'm at a loss for words :huh:

    WHile I believe that it's crazy to call the police, I've seen a few young kids out of control and in the position of possibly hurting someone else.

    I think that it's extremely sad that kids are out of control and parents & school personnel aren't in control :huh:
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,692

    Apr 17, 2012

    How would you recommend that they control a child having a violent outburst?

    I used to work at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. We had many patients who were referred to our hospital because they were in crisis and displaying extremely violent physical outbursts. For example, we had one 6-year-old who successfully burned down the garage in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping, kicked out three car windows, and attempted to murder his family with a knife. I've personally witnessed kids, even very young kids, do some very horrific things and become extremely violent towards themselves and others. At the psych hospital, we would sometimes need to physically restrain those kids and put them in seclusion until they could calm themselves and/or until they were medicated. It sometimes took a team of trained adults to get one small child safely into physical restraints and into seclusion, not because our team was incompetent but because safety was of the utmost importance and we needed to make sure that we were safely restraining and transporting. If the staff at this school lacked training or sufficient numbers to safely restrain or transport this child to a safe room, I think that the only solution is to call in someone else who could do those things safely.
     
  7. bondo

    bondo Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2012

    Good point Caesar. More harm to the student could have been done if the faculty and/or staff attempted to restrain the child when they are not trained to do so.
     
  8. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 17, 2012

    It says in the article the child was trying to break a glass frame and paper shredder; both items could, depending on size, severely harm the child. That in itself probably gives the officer a basis for the claim of trying to protect the child. As well as biting a doorknob-if the child had broken her teeth on the door I bet the parents would be furious for the opposite reason, they would claim the child should have been protected better.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,709
    Likes Received:
    1,673

    Apr 18, 2012

    I completely agree.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    That was my thought too. It just seems schools can't win these days. If she had been restrained and been hurt in that process there would be another article on how school personnel hurt the child. Sometimes you have to call in reinforcements, that way they are covering themselves with witnesses and documentation as well. The article said parents claimed there should have been some other kind of intervention-like what? They couldn't reach the parents? You would put an extremely destructive, violent child in detention?
     
  11. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    Teachers have been sued for touching children in these situations. Breaking up fights or trying to intervene in tantrums are very difficult for teachers (if you don't intervene you are at fault, if you do intervene you are at fault). I have dealt with a similar student as the one discribed, at it was very rough. I was frightened everyday for the child's safety and for the other student's safety. I really think some of the violent outburst these small children experience have to do with what the parents are exposing their young children to at home: violent video games, computer gaming, movies, TV shows. When a preschooler talks about killing, strangling, says the F word, ect... They have to have learned those terms and actions from somebody. It is a scary world out there and a teacher can't always turn off this type of behavior in students with classroom management.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,004
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Apr 18, 2012

    I agree. I think the school was looking out for themselves and also the other students. I seriously would be concerned if my child was in this violent 6 year old's class. The parents seem to be looking for sympathy and think their child did nothing wrong.
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Apr 18, 2012

    So the parents haven't actually talked to the police, only reporters hmm? Interesting.

    Also, I wonder what they would have suggested doing, when a six-year old is destroying property and hurting adults. What would they have done at home? Or, what do they think would have happened if this girl had thrown this "tantrum" in a grocery store, at the mall, in church?

    We have (well, had, as there is now a group home involved) a student who is terribly violent and prone to outbursts and running away. We don't even hesitate to call the police. We are a school, not equipped or staffed to handle children such as this.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Apr 18, 2012

    Actually the reason the child was handcuffed was because family could not be located and the police were escorting the child out of the school. The prinicipal had been injuried by a falling bookcase that the child pulled over. The police policy was that NO ONE was to be transported without being properly restrained. The school, the police, and even some family members stated that the child was handcuffed in a safe and calm manner. The reason the cuffs hurt the child was because the child was trying to pull them off. Do I agree? I am not sure. I wasn't there. I do know that I have had to have children removed from my room on several occasions that were to violent to be around other children. I had a desk thrown at me while I was pregnant with my daughter. I also had a 2nd grader that was as big as me and outweighed me throw me into a door that I was blocking to keep him away from a little girl and cracked several ribs. The security officer that day threatened to handcuff him and then his mother when she proceeded to cuss me out for locking her angel out of my room. He was removed from a regular education room and placed in a emotionally disturbed classroom against the mother's will for the rest of the year. So it is hard for me to feel sorry for these parents...and why couldn't they be bothered to answer a cellphone????
     
  15. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    I think the situation was handled well, except that quite likely they should have cuffed the parents as well.
     
  16. bee53

    bee53 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    People don't become violent and aggressive adults "out of the blue". Some, if not many or all, display violence and aggression at young ages. I've experienced it in my own classrooms. So, the media is wrong in downplaying the behavior as a tantrum. No one handcuffs a 6 year old for a tantrum. Schools and school personnel have better things to do during their work days.
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Apr 18, 2012

    While I don't agree with the handcuffing, I can see where it can happen. I've had kids that have been very violent & even though never handcuffed have had to be restrained.

    I've always wondered what has happened in that child's life to cause such violent outbursts.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,692

    Apr 18, 2012

    Some children display these kinds of violent outbursts not because of any trauma in their lives but because of some pretty severe brain abnormalities and chemical imbalances. It's like the emotional controls in their brains are stuck in ANGRY! full time. This isn't true for all children who engage in these sorts of behaviors, but it's definitely true for some.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,003

    Apr 18, 2012

    But you also have to think about how the parents were unreachable by both the school administration and the police. Yes, they could simply have been busy, but they STILL hadn't contacted the police when the article was written and decided to confide in reporters instead. There is obviously some mistrust of authority going on here, and that can definitely affect a child's outlook on the figures of authority at school.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,692

    Apr 18, 2012

    You're absolutely right. My comment was more general and doesn't really have to do with this particular student or situation. I don't know anything about this student's history and I'm not a doctor, so I have no idea why this student displayed those sorts of behaviors. I was just saying that sometimes students do these kinds of things even without bad parents, trauma, abuse, pre-natal drug use, or any of the other things that might otherwise cause behaviors like these.
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,003

    Apr 18, 2012

    Very true. I have some students like that in my classroom right now. One is on the Autism spectrum.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Apr 18, 2012

    I agree that there may not have been a specific trauma in their young lives.

    You mention brain abnormalities & chemical imbalances. At least some of these are caused while the child is still in the womb. The mother drinking or doing drugs. This could be considered a trauma, even if it was pre-birth.

    Some of it may be biological. And others who knows.
     
  23. kevmic28

    kevmic28 Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    I read another article about this on yahoo where the parents had stated they will be horing Al Sharpton to represent then because their daughters civil rights had been violated. Parents dont even care about the girl they are just seeing the dollar signs.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    It's difficult for any of us to imagine just how violent - and strong - a 5-6 yr old child can be unless we've seen or experienced it first-hand.

    I was trying to put my middle son in his car seat once and he was fighting me. He put his feet against the top of the door and kicked so hard he almost knocked us both down. He was 2 at the time. Part of that had to do with me being somewhat off-balance trying to hold him, but the other part was just how strong he was, even at that age.

    My youngest son was scratched in the face by a classmate in Kindergarten. Four years later, the scars are still visible on his face.

    While it may seem extreme at times, police officers are required to place ANY suspect in handcuffs before transporting them. This is for the suspect's safety, as well as the officers. Just Search YouTube for police videos sometime to see how out of control people can be, even IN handcuffs.

    My favorite part of the article is this....

    ""Call the police? Is that the first step?" Johnson's mother, Constance Ruff, asked."

    Uhm...no...that was NOT the first step. Any teacher can tell you the sequence of events were very likely this....

    Student got angry in class and became violent. Attempts to calm the student were unsuccessful, so the student was removed from the room, both to protect other students and to remove the student from whatever stimulus/situation was making her angry.

    Student was taken to the principal's office where the P tried to calm her down. Student refused to calm down and became violent and combative; attacking the principal and destroying school property. After all attempts to calm the student have failed, the P leaves the room and locks the door so the student is "contained" and can only do damage to property or herself. This is standard procedure for dealing with a violent child. If you can't calm them down and remove them from the room, you remove the REST of the kids and close the door to keep the violent student contained until help arrives.

    After making sure the student is contained in the office, the police are called because the child's behavior has gone beyond what the school can safely handle. Calls to the parents may or may not have been made when the child is first brought to the office, but attempts to contact them would definitely be made once the P was unable to calm the child down. SEVERAL calls WERE made to the parents, but never answered! Authorities DID try to contact the parents and they could not be found.

    So, while this situation may seem extreme to some, the school AND the police both acted completely within proper and appropriate protocol for the situation.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2012

    I thought Al Sharpton was a Reverand, not a lawyer.

    The girl's civil rights were not violated. The school and police operated according to required protocols and the actions they took were appropriate for the situation.
     
  26. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Apr 18, 2012

    I'm going to assume that's a Freudian...
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 19, 2012

    Hahahaha. Whatever gets his face in front of the camera is his issue.

    Schools need more resources for psychologists, that's for sure.
     
  28. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,937
    Likes Received:
    173

    Apr 19, 2012

    I find myself agreeing with you more and more each day.
     
  29. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 19, 2012

    I think this is really well said! Obviously a regular ed teacher or a school principal and probably most special ed teachers and guidance counselors are not going to have the same training as someone who works in a psychiatric center. I know that there is a proper way to restrain a child, however I'm not trained to do it and therefore would not feel/shouldn't try to do if I have a violent child in my classroom. If I was in a school where there was NO ONE trained this way, I guess the only option would be to call the police in an extreme case.
     
  30. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 19, 2012

    Ugh I'm glad I didn't read that one it would have infuriated me!
     
  31. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 19, 2012

    I forgot how angry that part of the article made me until I just re-read it now! Does she seriously think that was the first step or was she just looking for more sympathy/attention? I mean if she acts like this in school I can't imagine what they've had to deal with at home, so this whole episode shouldn't have been such a shock to the family.
     
  32. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Apr 19, 2012

    Someone made an interesting comment at the bottom of the article. The mom is furious her daughter was handcuffed, but what if it was a different situation and a classmate in a tantrum threw scissors? What if they hit her daughter? Definitely something to think about. I have a student who has violent fits. He's never hurt anyone, but sometimes he gets so angry his eyes glaze over and he is distant. Today he punched his backpack furiously. I worry he'll one day turn on a classmate! With behaviors like these, some form of restraint might be safest. I don't think handcuffs are ever appropriate, however.
     
  33. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 19, 2012

    What's wrong with handcuffs?

    I keep reading "Restraints are acceptable...but not handcuffs." What's wrong with handcuffs? They restrain a student's hands from terrorizing, scratching, throwing, punching, etc. I don't get it! :dizzy:

    Also, one of my 2nd graders has a severe behavior disorder. If he gets triggered, he snaps (throws staplers, scissors, kicks, bangs his face and throws his body at windows if removed from class, etc.). That being said, what harm would it be if he had to be handcuffed? Isn't that a type of restraint....?

    If teachers couldn't be sued for self-defense, I would just push him down and sit on him. And tell the other kids in my class to go to the teacher's class next door. And have that teacher call the office. Because when scissors and staplers are being thrown at your HEAD, you don't have time to call anyone!
     
  34. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    3

    Apr 22, 2012

    So I just got this email from Change.org:

     
  35. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Apr 22, 2012

    How did you respond Mike?
     
  36. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    3

    Apr 22, 2012

    I didn't. It's a mass email because I've signed petitions on change.org before. But I won't be signing this one.
     
  37. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Apr 22, 2012

    I want a petition that states parents will send their child to school ready to learn, children don't hit or yell at the teacher, and state leaders will keep their noses out of my room.
     
  38. Momzoid

    Momzoid Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 22, 2012

    mrachelle87- where do we sign!!!!!:thumb:
     
  39. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 23, 2012

    I got the letter from Change.Org also. I also ignored it. Anyone can start a petition on that site. So the petition you are suggesting mrachelle could be sent to thousands through that site.
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 23, 2012

    Is it possible to respond to petition requests on change.org to explain and clarify situations, like the school being unable to reach either parent despite making multiple phone calls?

    Little Salecia has nightmares about the experience? Then maybe she will stop and think about her actions next time before going into full-blown meltdown mode. Throwing chairs and furniture at other people goes far beyond a "temper tantrum".

    If there is a way to post such information on change.org in regards to their petitions, I would definitely be telling the other side of the story so potential signers knew all the facts.
     
  41. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    3

    Apr 23, 2012

    I tried looking, but there isn't.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 347 (members: 1, guests: 315, robots: 31)
test