Friday, April 13, the Milledgeville police department handcuffed kindergarten student Salecia Johnson. The school accused the 6-year-old of tearing things off the wall and throwing a bookshelf that hit the principal on the leg and injured her. Creekside Elementary stated that she jumped on a paper shredder and tried to break a glass frame. Salecia is accused of simple battery and property damage.
The school called police into the situation after Salecia couldn’t be calmed. She “was restrained by placing her hands behind her back and handcuffed,” a police report states. The department’s policy is to handcuff anyone, despite their age, when arrested and taken to the police department.
Interim Police Chief Dray Swicord stated that the reason “we handcuff detainees is for the safety of themselves as well as the officer.” So this police chief thinks a handcuffed kindergarten student is not crossing the line? Could this situation been handled in a different way? How much restraint does it take to control a 6-year-old?
Salecia Johnson has been suspended from school for the rest of the school year.
School officials have struggled with this issue before. Though it is rare to have a child handcuffed, it has happened before.
In Florida, police also arrested a kindergartener when he threw a tantrum during a jelly bean counting contest. A bill was proposed to restrict authorities from arresting children who do not pose safety threats and other misdemeanors.
A 13-year-old in New Mexico was arrested for burping during gym class. The mother pulled him from the school in November 2011, but it took several months to have him placed in another school.
How long before we let our children be shocked by a tazer just because they talk back to their teacher or slam their books on the desk out of anger? Is this another attempt to make a police state in this country and make its citizens zombies?