Is It OK to Handcuff a Child for Throwing a Tantrum?

News 2012/04/19 13:00:00
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If you think your kid is a handful, wait 'til you hear this one. Six-year-old Salecia Johnson threw such a colossal tantrum that Creekside Elementary School in Georgia called the police, and when they got there the police had such a hard time with her that they handcuffed her and took her downtown. Talk about a piece of work...

According to WMAZ, a local station, little Salecia knocked over a shelf, injuring the school principal, right before the police were called. Her parents were in disbelief. The girl was even charged with simple assault and damage to property, though The New York Times writes that she won't have to go to court because she's too young. Do you think it's OK to handcuff a 6-year-old for throwing a tantrum? Or is this news just ridiculous?

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Top Opinion

  • Nica24 2012/04/19 14:28:50
    I wouldn't say that was a tantrum. She was out of control, hopefully she learned her lesson out of it.

    Of course the little girl has to be African America, where are thee Obama? Let's turn this into a racist thing again..

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  • tobe Liv 2012/04/20 14:58:23
    I agree with almost all that. I think though that she should be charged. Not as an adult but she should be charged. That way they can make the parents put her in anger management. Without charges it would be the parents call and from the sounds of it the parents probably wouldnt do it if they werent forced to. When shes 18 her records going to be cleared anyway. I
  • Liv tobe 2012/04/30 04:42:06
    Fair enough. It makes sense, the charges being cleared - I didnt think of that. I was thinking along the lines of "she shouldnt be charged for a mistake when she was six" But what you say definitely makes sense :)
  • Joker2874 2012/04/20 04:46:52 (edited)
    From what I read about the case..Sounds this kid needs some meds..She was a 'human Tazmanian Devil' in class..Very disruptive..Hurt the school principle..(when the book shelf fell on her)..destroyd school property..The school couldnt control her outside of using a tiger tranquilizer dart..The school calld police..She fought with the cops..They didnt taze her..They didnt shoot rubber bullets at her..They handcuffed her..Im fine with what the police did..Kids R waaay out of control nowdays..(alot of them come from broken homes..
    only one parent, who works alot..& in some cases, the parent cant evn vote yet..under 18..Young teen pregnancies..13, 14, 15 yr olds..R high were I live..Can U imagine being the parent of a kindergardner as U just graduate high school..I cant)..She seems to have some sort of issues..anger managemnt..primadonna syndrome (always gets what she wants & doesnt like to B told no..she cant have this or cant do that)..Nip it in the bud now..
    Get her some psyche help quick B4 it gets much worse, when she gets a few yrs older, more violent & sent 2 juvee or even prison..
  • Couri 2012/04/20 04:33:22
    What other option do they have? Most schools are not allowed to use corporal punishment any more and the police certainly are not allowed to. So it was either let her continue to destroy the place and possibly injure others or restrain her somehow.

    However, I don't think taking her to the police station and charging her was necessary. She is a 6 year old after all. She was probably terrified.
  • Iamfree 2012/04/20 04:27:49
    She was behaving like a wild animal and had already injured one person. The handcuffs were probably the safest way to restrain her until she calmed down. An arrest is kind of absurd, however.
  • Beagle Mom Iamfree 2012/04/20 09:53:27
    Beagle Mom
    Agree with you about the arrest. Crazy.
  • exhon2009 2012/04/20 04:26:29
    They can't spank them anymore.
  • TheR 2012/04/20 04:22:32
    They could have thrown a blanket over her, wrapped her up and moved out of class. Then take to a safe room, and wait for her to settle down. Then proceed to call parents and have teacher and parent lesson on how to behave in class. First of all, no one knows that it was truly a tantrum. What if it was an epileptic fit, or seizure?, or some sort of mental problem, that caused her to go into a state of confusion? Calling the Police is the wrong thing to do, because it also frightens people and sends a message they did something wrong, when in fact they didn't. And this compiles the state of Confusion.

    under a Blanket  photo
  • brittneylalaa 2012/04/20 04:15:08
    I can't help but wonder if the child was white would people feel differently? But I'm having a hard time believing this child knocked over a shelf. If the kid was really that out of control then the handcuff weren't that bad of an idea until she calmed down; I mean what else could they do? But to take her down to the station is extreme but not surprising. I would definitely be surprised if the kid was white. That would be a shocker.
  • Jen brittne... 2012/04/20 04:39:43
    This was a wild Child gone out of control. Hrad this been an animal disruption or attack on another person, then they would need to sedate the animal. My heart goes our to the principle.
  • Met brittne... 2012/04/20 05:10:47
    I'm not sure about this school district, but when i was in school the police were already there, and if you were out of control you just might get tasered, white or black.

    I really don't think this is an issue someone needs to insert the race card for. Unruly children usually have horrible parents, regardless of ethnicity.

    And if the parents aren't going to teach their child how to behave, the public will one way or another.
  • LaiLaiHart brittne... 2012/04/20 14:38:01
    Thats what i was thinking, every issue concerning humans shouldnt be about the color of their skin, rather the subject at hand. Every race, background, and ethnicity has some good and some bad.
  • Bali brittne... 2012/04/20 14:40:20
    what does her race have to do with it? a lunatic is a lunatic, white, black or brown.
  • Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F 2012/04/20 04:08:50
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    What should the police have done, used a stun gun? Now that would be too much. But handcuffs were justified. She commited assault and it's too bad she doesn't have to answer for her atrocious behavior. I hope at least her parents whop her butt.
  • Couri Aqua Su... 2012/04/20 04:35:28
    Exactly. If I ever did anything like that my momma would make sure I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week.
  • LisaSmith Aqua Su... 2012/04/20 18:36:01
    I bet they sue the police and school district instead.
  • Aqua Su... LisaSmith 2012/04/21 00:37:03
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    And then the injured teacher turns around and sues the family for what their daughter did to him. This could turn funny weird!
  • littlebuffalo55TBA 2012/04/20 04:05:47
    From the story as I have heard it it appears if was right square in the center of the very rare times I would sanction it.

    She sure is from the pic a little cutie and I hope parents and professionals can find the cause and help her deal with stress & anger better!
  • tony 2012/04/20 04:05:39
    My girlfriend is an inner city school teacher and they are not allowed to put their hands on the kids. Neither are the security guards. So sometimes the police take them out. And before anyone screams racism on me I've answered the same on sodahead polls where the child was white.
  • Jen tony 2012/04/20 04:28:48
    You don't come across as racist. If what you say is true, that teachers and security guards are not allowed to put their hands on a misbehaved child, and if my kid ever acted violently towards other children or the teachers, then I would give the teacher in charge permission and my blessing to slap my kid's hand with a Ruler. In my day, no one complained about corporal punishment by the teachers.
  • politicalsoldier 2012/04/20 04:01:27
    I think restraining the child until she calmed down and before she hurt others or herself is fine. Something softer than handcuffs would have worked though.

    But, taking a little six year old downtown and charging them with assault and damage to property is F#$%ing ridiculous!

    Six years old people! A six year old's mind doesn't comprehend reason yet, Someone needs to be looking into why this small child is behaving this why. Discipline and punishment to teach a lesson? Absolutely. But make it the discipline and punishment you give a six year old child, not the punishment you give an adult felon. Think people!
  • Couri politic... 2012/04/20 04:39:36
    Exactly. I wish they would bring back the paddleings. However a few rotten teachers who took it too far spoiled it for the bunch. I had a teacher that would pride himself on breaking the paddle over a kids rear end (this was in elementary school) and he ended up getting fired because they considered that too much. Now you can't paddle at all.
  • Saul Bo... Couri 2012/04/20 10:48:54
    Saul Borbón-Dos Sicilias
    So, what? you can't get respect, fear will do?
  • Couri Saul Bo... 2012/04/20 13:12:49 (edited)
    Basically, yes. Children are not born with an inherent ability to understand respect, so naturally they will act out. If you do nothing, they will continue to act out and get worse. If you punish them in a way that fits the individual child (usually time out or spanking) then it teaches them what they should and should not do. I think you're confusing punishment with abuse.

    Most schools these days are not allowed to use corporal punishment because there was a few that took it too far (I used my old elementary school teacher as an example). So now their only options is in school detention. This only works for about half the kids. A combination of time out and corporal punishment is what keeps the majority of kids in line because the kids will typically have a strong dislike for one or the other.The key is to fit the punishment to the child. Obviously if a child would rather be spanked and get it over with, you would want to send them to time out or ISD and vise versa.

    For example, we have learned quickly that spankings do not work with my daughter. So instead we give her time outs or take privileges away.
  • Stan Weinstein 2012/04/20 03:39:01 (edited)
    Stan Weinstein
    Definitely not. They should be tased or water boarded instead
  • Faith ~American Patriot~ 2012/04/20 03:24:31
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    If you choose to act like a delinquent, expect to be treated like one.
  • ladyjane Faith ~... 2012/04/20 08:08:39
    You're talking about a 6 year old - they should have waited for her parents to arrive before they decided to haul her to jail...
  • Faith ~... ladyjane 2012/04/20 13:50:21
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    They couldn't get ahold of the parents. Were they to just let her continue to destroy the school, hurt people, and potentially hurt herself?
  • ajracestables1 2012/04/20 03:22:53
    Do whatever you have to do when they are out of contol. It does not hurt them.
  • kylie 2012/04/20 03:19:37 (edited)
  • BwaHa 2012/04/20 03:16:00
  • Axe Grinder 2012/04/20 03:15:07
    Axe Grinder
    Fine line to walk here. If you do, then everybody cries EXCESSIVE, if you don't and she harms herself or another student, then everybody wants to know why nothing was done ?!? Seems like, no matter what you do (or don't do ) these days, there will be a lawsuit pending.
  • JeanLouiseCollins 2012/04/20 03:13:57
    The problem is calling the police,not what they had to do once they were there.
    Her parents should have been called and handled the problem.
  • Robert Duarte 2012/04/20 02:41:12
    Robert Duarte
    no handcuffs ,whip there ass .
  • El Jefe Robert ... 2012/04/20 03:00:01
    El Jefe
    How can I say this... I don't think you are taking this seriously.
  • Hales 2012/04/20 02:35:07
    Good god. What could've caused a tantrum bad enough to get the little girl hauled to jail? If we found out, could the parents also be at fault for not teaching their child discipline?
  • Couri Hales 2012/04/20 04:41:11
    I believe the article said she knocked over some shelves and injured some people. To me that would justify the handcuffs but not jail
  • Hales Couri 2012/04/22 02:37:08 (edited)
    Yes, but WHAT caused her to knock over the shelves and kick people? No candy? Not getting what she wants?
  • Couri Hales 2012/04/22 03:24:50
    Does it really matter?
  • Hales Couri 2012/04/23 18:12:57

    It'd be a curiousity to read that this kid got into so much trouble over something so little/silly -- whatever it was.

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