Cop Handcuffs Kindergartner For Throwing a Tantrum in School

Say What!? 75

handcuffed kidA Georgia cop who handcuffed a tantruming kindergartner is in the middle of a hailstorm of criticism this week. So I'm going to do this poor guy a favor. I'm not going to add to it.

That's right. I'm the mother of a girl who is the same age as little Salecia Johnson was when she pitched a hissy in the middle of the classroom at her elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia last week. And I know what kind of damage a pissed off 6-year-old can do. I also know what it takes to calm a pissed off 6-year-old down. Handcuffing doesn't sound that far off the mark.

The thing is, according to the reports, Salecia was tearing things off the walls in her classroom. She was throwing furniture. She ripped a shelf off the wall of the principal's office, and it injured the administrator.

This was not some pouting toddler. This was a full on, s--t has hit the fan blowout.

And I can picture how it went down because I've been there. My 6-year-old went through a "I'm going to throw fits" phase -- although never in public (thank heavens for small mercies). She was testing her boundaries, and as responsible parents, we laid down the law. The phase ended, and we've moved on.

But I still remember how we had to calm her. We would sit, holding her in the safety of our arms, while she worked out her frustrations. Now imagine a grown man, a stranger, doing that to a 6-year-old girl. He'd be facing more than criticism today. People would be calling him a pedophile and accusing him of molesting the little girl.

Yes, he's a cop. But in this society, grown men do not hold little girls close to their bodies without some sort of repercussions. So what else is a cop to do when he walks into a classroom and finds a child wreaking such havoc?

Talking to them doesn't work if it falls on deaf ears -- which is what is said to have happened with Salecia. And walking out of the room, just letting her continue to destroy the place, isn't an option. At best she would learn that this type of atrocious behavior is acceptable. At worst, she would continue to hurt other people and/or possibly hurt herself.

So what does that leave? Handcuffs. It's not a great option. In fact, it downright sucks that he was put in that position. But on a scale from one to TASER, I think it's probably the best that can be done in a bad situation.

As the mother of a 6-year-old, I don't want to think of my child ever being put in handcuffs. But then, I don't ever want my child tearing things off the classroom walls, throwing furniture, or ripping a shelf off the wall in the principal's office. If my kid was being cuffed for behavior that atrocious, I don't think I'd be taking the story to the media. I'd be asking myself how the heck my kid got that out of control.

What do you think the officer should have done in this situation?


Image via daquella manera/Flickr

behavior, discipline


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KWnav... KWnavywife

Sounds to me like he didn't have a choice. She had reached the point of being a danger to herself and those around her.

Torra... TorranceMom

I was a first and second grade teacher in a Title 1 school for ten years before I became a mother - I totally support this police officer and what he had to do. Restraining this kid helped keep her and the people around her safe.

nonmember avatar kaerae

She could have seriously injured another child or adult. She's headed for handcuffs in a few years anyway. Save your outrage for the parents who failed her the first 6 years.

Beth McCormack Bernitt

Something like this happened in FL a few years back and heads did roll, but I'm with you. I know your child will have a dreadful fit for you to keep you both on your test what she can actually make you do, but she has boundaries and would never dream of harming an adult (that wasn't her parent,and she would never mean to hurt anyone ) crazy as it sounds your child has boundaries and does know right from wrong. This GA child  harmed an authority figure and clearly has never been taught how to respect people. What your little girl does in your home and what this little girl did in school are truly comparing apples and hand grenades. The parent that feel their child was wronged have a very long road ahead of them. As if an adult does not know when their child is wrong that child will never make good choices as there is no roll model. 

Spiri... Spiritrunner

there's days i wish i had handcuffs and possibly a muzzle or tran shot, kuddos to this officer he did what he had to do!

jessi... jessicasmom1

I think it is the best in some situation to settle someone  down , my DD accidentaly knocked a book off the boy's desk that sits behind her and he went nuts thinking she did it on purpose.. she kindly picked it up and said Sorry as he ranted at her.. the teacher then went and showed an example and shoved his stuff off the kids desk and said now that was on purpose do you see she knocked it off by accident and then picked it up for you? needless to say she got a gold gram for perfect attitude and he got a rams gram for terrible outrage.

nonmember avatar Dawn

I am shocking myself when I say that I don't think the officer was wrong in this situation. I have children and yes they have thrown some major fits and have had meltdowns, but never to this extent. You have to be wondering as I am what is going on with that child to be that out of control???

Amand... AmandaSnyder

She was becoming a danger to herself and other I think its better than the other option of taser.  Yes if he had tried to restrain her in any other way he would have gotten in trouble for that too.  Parents this shows we need to take back the displine of our kids.

Jespren Jespren

The only problem I see here is it got to the 'call the police and get out the hand cuff' stage. All the teacher/princapal had to do was hold the girl when she started the fit and then it never would have had the chance to escalate. But since so many idiots have made it forbidden for teachers to even touch a student, it wasn't the teachers fault either. It's the fault of a moronic society which is too afraid to let those they have put in positions of authority actually use authority.

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