The news coming out of Georgia today revolves around a 6-year-old kindergartner who threw such a violent tantrum that school officials called police, who handcuffed her for her own safety.
But the real story is this: Many people are siding with police.
“I agree with the school, let the police cuff her. If anyone at the school would have touched her the parents would have sued and said how wrong they were,” said one commenter at WMAZ-TV in Georgia, where coverage of the story is leading to a lively discussion on parenting skills.
Some commenters said they’re outraged at the notion of a kindergartner in handcuffs, but many others are lining up behind the commenter who said the girl was plenty old enough to know right from wrong: “This child needs to know there are consequences to your actions.”
Here’s what happened, according to WMAZ:
Officials at Creekside Elementary School in Milledgeville, located in central Georgia, called police on Friday to report that pupil Salecia Johnson was out of control. They said they had first tried to call her mother, but couldn’t reach her.
School officials told WMAZ that they feared the child was a danger to herself and others. She was crying, tearing items off the wall, biting a door knob, trying to break a glass frame and jumping on top of a paper shredder. At one point, she reportedly knocked over a shelf, injuring the school principal, according to the Associated Press.
When police arrived, they tried to calm the girl, but she began acting out again — and was handcuffed. Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord defended that decision.
“Our policy is 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,” Swicord told WMAZ.
The child was handcuffed and taken to the police station until her parents could retrieve her, outraging her relatives.
“A 6-year-old in kindergarten. They don’t have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child,” Earnest Johnson, the girl’s father, told WMAZ. The child’s mother said the girl suffers “mood swings” but that was still no reason for authorities to treat her so harshly.
“She might have misbehaved, but I don’t think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department,” the girl’s aunt, Candace Ruff, told the TV station.