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PUBLIC OPINION > It's Not OK to Handcuff Kids

News 2012/04/20 13:00:00
The parents of 6-year-old Salecia Johnson were shocked to find out that their child had been handcuffed and hauled off to jail on Tuesday. According to The Associated Press, while at school she "threw a small shelf that struck the principal in the leg, and jumped on a paper shredder and tried to break a glass frame." At some point administrators called the cops, and when the officer couldn't calm her down he put her in cuffs and took her to the station. This story has "controversy" written all over it, so you know we asked the public.



Sure enough, the results are just shy of a split decision. Overall, the voters decided against it by a margin of 10%, but there was more than enough support to get a toasty debate going. The real issue seemed to be whether there were any other options available. Those who voted in favor of the cuffing assumed there must have been good cause; those who voted against it assumed it was an overreaction. Some blamed the parents for not teaching her to behave in the first place; others wondered what the school did to cause the tantrum. There were a lot of angles.

Teens Think It's Terrible

Voters closest in age to the girl were most likely to oppose the officer's use of handcuffs. Maybe it's a little scary to realize just how vulnerable they could be if they don't act right. If a 6-year-old can get the cuffs, they're certainly not immune. Plus, they probably remember what it was like to be six a little better.

Parents Weigh Their Options

You might think parents would be more defensive, but they were actually more supportive than most. Along with voters who don't want kids at all, parents were split down the middle. However, voters who want kids someday were much less supportive. They don't know what they're in for.

Liberals Don't Like It

Yes, of course there was a political element to this. It actually wasn't as pronounced as it could have been, but conservatives were two times as likely as liberals to condone the use of handcuffs in this instance. Right-leaning voters frequently pointed out that handcuffs are merely a restraint, and not physically damaging. At least they didn't tase her.

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Top Opinion

  • fluer 2012/04/20 17:00:46
    fluer
    +16
    As a teacher who has had students out of control I can only assume this child was really out there badly. In the last 8 years we have only had to call the police one time and in that case they did haul the kiddo off to jail I think in cuffs. I guess they could have put her in a jacket, but if you stop and consider that she had already shown the inclination to injure and then destroy property could they let her go until she calmed down and potentially risk injury to another student or more property damage? Kiddo needed to be stopped to protect the rest of her peers and the staff from her destructive behavior. Do I like to consider this no, but in the real world where no one from the school can lay a hand on her without facing the very real possibility of a lawsuit the options are limited. Kiddo needs help but she also needs to learn there are consequences to actions. Sad all the way around.

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  • Walter Harris 2012/04/23 02:08:27
    Walter Harris
    +2
    Sometimes you have to
  • Bocephus 2012/04/22 22:40:17
  • wow-really Bocephus 2012/04/24 16:26:53
    wow-really
    +2
    Well said.
    Congratulations!
    i wish more parents felt that way. Unfortunately, too many don't........

    parent award
  • Bocephus wow-really 2012/04/25 23:30:06
  • it'skrissie!d:) 2012/04/22 22:07:21
    it'skrissie!d:)
    The child bit a doorknob. Can you guess my opinion to this?
  • Alice Evie 2012/04/22 20:00:57
    Alice Evie
    It depends on the crime and the age of the kid
  • william keegan 2012/04/22 19:11:35
    william keegan
    +1
    I don't really understand why there are those who want to treat criminals differently because of age or any other reason. Criminal activity is criminal activity regardless of who is performing it. It shouldn't matter if the criminal is nine or ninety. Excusing criminal behavior because of age is just another way of telling the criminal that their behavior is OK!
  • Suzy 2012/04/22 18:46:49
    Suzy
    +2
    The description of this child's behavior is disturbing and indicates a bit more of a problem than "misbehavior". Sounds like some fairly serious mental health issues need to be addressed.
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/04/22 17:43:19
    Margaret Jacobson
    +2
    here in baltimore city we have a mayor and city council that REFUSES to stop "dirtbike riders" in the city limits.....These riders have running through red lights, singly and in packs, sometimes 6 to 12 riders at a time............I haVE SEEN THEM CLOSE UP THEY ARE TEENAGERS and older people ( 30 TO 50 YEARS)........Run people of the streets and the police are "TOLD LET THEM GO"............TOO DANGEROUS TO PERSUE!!! GO FIGURE...........I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM PERSUED AND HANDCUFFED....
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/04/22 17:38:31
    Margaret Jacobson
    +1
    some people (including "children") need to be "cuffed" for the good of society.........SOME young people are a DANGANGER TO THEMSELVES, OTHERS, PROPERTY..........WHATEVER IT TAKES "GO FOR IT" PROTECT ALL CONCERNED!!!THANK YOU
  • BonnieDeutsch 2012/04/22 16:03:06
    BonnieDeutsch
    +1
    Well, I'm shocked ! If a grown policeman can't handle a 6 year old, it's no wonder that
    they are using gun forces too often as well.
  • wow-really BonnieD... 2012/04/24 16:30:03
    wow-really
    +1
    all due respect, but when was the last time you had to restrain an unknown, out of control 6 year old?
    There are great risks when using restraint on a out of control indiviual, no matter age, nor size.
    Trust me when I tell you, handcuffs really are the safest, least restrictive option.
  • BonnieD... wow-really 2012/04/24 23:20:21
    BonnieDeutsch
    +1
    Thank you for your comment. As a mother I can tell you, first hand, that I could deal with my 14 year old, let alone a 6 year old,no matter how rough that 6year old was. But hand cuffs sends a very wrong message. But you were nice to comment and I look forward to more comments from you.
  • wow-really BonnieD... 2012/04/25 15:21:23
    wow-really
    +1
    Bonnie, I work with kids with severe behaviors malfunctions, and every adult I come into contact with that doesn't, always says the same thing. "Let me handle that 6 year, I'll fix their problem quick!" or "They wouldn't act that way if I was there." and so on and so forth. What people forget is that these kids are not your own. And while our own kids don't behave this way because we do our job as good parents, there are way too many that aren't. This kids belong to someone else. Someone who obviously isn't doing such a great job themselves, but that doesn't matter because the minute that kid does something wrong, it's everybody else fault but their child's. And if that kid hurts themselves or someone else in the process of being restraned, the threats of law suits is ever present. Now adays, not only do they threaten to sue, they bring car loads of "relatives" to the school to "beat up" the administrators, the teacher, and even the little kid who "fought" with their child.
    The sad fact of the matter is that kids are becoming increasly more violent and engaging in dangerous activities at a very young age. And since parents are allowing and enabling and excusing bad behaviors at a young age because "kids are just kids", these kids are escalating to the point of no return. When...
    Bonnie, I work with kids with severe behaviors malfunctions, and every adult I come into contact with that doesn't, always says the same thing. "Let me handle that 6 year, I'll fix their problem quick!" or "They wouldn't act that way if I was there." and so on and so forth. What people forget is that these kids are not your own. And while our own kids don't behave this way because we do our job as good parents, there are way too many that aren't. This kids belong to someone else. Someone who obviously isn't doing such a great job themselves, but that doesn't matter because the minute that kid does something wrong, it's everybody else fault but their child's. And if that kid hurts themselves or someone else in the process of being restraned, the threats of law suits is ever present. Now adays, not only do they threaten to sue, they bring car loads of "relatives" to the school to "beat up" the administrators, the teacher, and even the little kid who "fought" with their child.
    The sad fact of the matter is that kids are becoming increasly more violent and engaging in dangerous activities at a very young age. And since parents are allowing and enabling and excusing bad behaviors at a young age because "kids are just kids", these kids are escalating to the point of no return. When I have to deal with 8, 9 and 10 year old kids who commit strong armed robbery, extortion, bullying, assault and battery, and trying to be gang memebers, there is a MAJOR problem. Especially when their parents make excuses for and condone these behaviors, Sometimes extremes measures are necessary to send a message, not just to the kids, but to their parents, that while maybe they like their child to be a spoiled, out of control brat at home, society will not tolerate what they do.
    Too many kids are ending up dead or in jail. the numbers are staggering, thats' a fact, yet no one seems too concern about it. We should all be very ashamed that we show more care and compassion toward kids before they are born, and even for animals (PETA) than we do when they are here.
    (more)
  • BonnieD... wow-really 2012/04/25 22:31:39
    BonnieDeutsch
    +1
    What a thoughtful and important comment. I thank you for taking the time to help me as well as others better understand this situation in our society.
    Just one little comment though, I do believe in "pro Choice" and wish more people would realistically view themselves to decide if they really should be parents.
    I applaud your career choice as it must be challenging. And I stand corrected, thank you for your comments now and anytime !
  • wow-really BonnieD... 2012/04/26 15:19:11
    wow-really
    +1
    Thanks for responding kindly, Ms. Bonnie. I really do appreciate that because sometimes the responses I get from people are not very nice. people hear, see, and believe what they want, but most of that has nothing to do with what's right, logical, or just. I try to bring awareness to people because perception rarely equals reality, and as such, i feel obligated to inform the public about what's going on with our kids. If we don't start doing right by them,sooner than later, we will all reap what we sow. My only questions to most folks is,"Who they heck is gonna take care of us when we no longer can do it? These kids"? i don't THINK so......
    Not if we keep on the path we are on currently... I do agree that people really need to start thinking about what it means, and what it entails, to be a good parent before doing so. I also think that if you need a license to catch a fish, and drive a car, all people should be tested before considering bringing a kid into this world...... But that's just me ; )
    Thanks again, and peace be with you.
  • BonnieD... wow-really 2012/04/26 19:00:49
    BonnieDeutsch
    +1
    I would just like to say that so many of the people on SH are rude in their comments and responses and it is so nice to have communication with thoughtful and intelligent people like you.
  • wow-really BonnieD... 2012/04/26 19:08:22
    wow-really
    +1
    Thank you and ditto back at cha ; )
  • Mark Howard 2012/04/22 15:54:52
    Mark Howard
    +1
    Chain the little FU--s up
  • wow-really Mark Ho... 2012/04/24 16:30:14
    wow-really
    LOL!
  • JoeKnows 2012/04/22 14:53:55
    JoeKnows
    Public schools... you gotta love 'em. First it's No Corporal Punishment, then it's No Tasers... then It's No Handcuffs... what's next, no neglecting them and teaching them crap they have zero use for? Where does the lunacy end?
  • Met 2012/04/22 07:21:26
    Met
    +8
    Then my response is stop raising dumbasses that are burdens to society.

    I'll make a deal with you, raise your kid to be a productive non disruptive member of society, and i won't egg the officer on to taze her repeatedly for my entertainment.
  • Howling... Met 2012/04/23 09:31:45
    Howling Hank
    +2
    I'm with you all the way Met...I'll bring the popcorn!
  • Mack 2012/04/22 06:34:40
    Mack
    +7
    Everything is a cruelty nowadays. You can't discipline a child because it's abuse. You can't correct a child because it might hurt their feelings. You can't restrain them because you might face legal consequences. Well then what the hell are you supposed to do when a kid starts endangering themselves and others? Wait for a tragedy?
  • dhw1949 Mack 2012/04/23 16:45:58
    dhw1949
    +2
    Well said. We can thank the "PC mentality", lawyers, and the ACLU for this.
  • wow-really Mack 2012/04/26 15:26:41
    wow-really
    +1
    The honest answer is YES, Mack.
    I see it everyday, and something really tragic and horrible has to happen before anything "changes"
    But as we all know, sometimes the more things 'change" the more they stay exactly the same. i wish people showed as much concern for kids, AFTER, they are born, as they do about them, BEFORE.. Nobody talks about the behaviors the kid was doing BEFORE they got cuffed, much less show any outrage toward THOSE behaviors.. Nope. they want to point fingers, and make excuses for. Welcome to my world. Actually, it's our world, but way too many think they are above this reality..
    Great comment BTW. : )
  • Prime Time Lime 2012/04/22 05:39:00
    Prime Time Lime
    +2
    For an adult to have to handcuff a child makes the adult more of a child than the child themselves. There are more better grown up ways to treat a child with reason.
  • Met Prime T... 2012/04/22 07:24:00
    Met
    +2
    I completely agree. That's what tasers are for.

    I'm sorry, but i feel we've surrendered enough when it comes to the unruly members of society. Hit em with 50,000 volts, and repeat as necessary for desired effect.

    Repeat the phrase "behave or get used to it" as needed to make it sink in.
  • Stan Kapusta 2012/04/22 05:23:31
    Stan Kapusta
    +2
    Considering the frequency of the needed use of handcuffs to restrain a unruly child I say YES. Remember it protects everyone till tempers cool. It's not like when I was it school and was swatted with a paddle.
  • rosebud Stan Ka... 2012/04/23 15:49:57
    rosebud
    +1
    Schools now need a "rubber room" like they have in mental institutions to use while tempers cool. Perhaps we need a bond issue to build some of them?
  • Stan Ka... rosebud 2012/04/23 16:23:11
    Stan Kapusta
    That's a good idea!
  • colton delaney 2012/04/22 03:49:46
    colton delaney
    +4
    what the kid really needed was a spankin, obviously she wasnt getting any consequences at home, but since no one can touch her and give her the kick in the ass she needs , either a straight jacket, or handcuffs are absolutely appropriate, the teachers and cops have to protect her from herself and from hurting other kids. her parents will probably make a big issue over the handcuffing, which is why this kid and her parents are in for a long hard road.
  • rosebud colton ... 2012/04/23 15:50:27
    rosebud
    +1
    Make her watch while the good kids get desert?
  • colton ... rosebud 2012/04/24 17:38:58
    colton delaney
    something like that, and if she has a fit, spankins can go a long way with a kid that cant be reasoned with. Got to put the fear of god into these kids, the same way you get a dog to obey. every kid is different, show me a well behaved respectful kid and Ill show you his parents who are firm disciplinarians, show me a spoiled loud obnoxious kid on ritalin and Ill show you parents who try to reason with their kid with timeouts and no spankins.
  • rosebud colton ... 2012/05/03 17:48:37
    rosebud
    #1 You do not hit children or animals. #2 The children you hit will not fear god, but will begin to fear you and even begin to keep a journal about the amount you hit them and one day might decide you no longer need to continue living. #3 Discipline is a teaching method, it does not incorporate physical blows to a child or dog. It does include removal of favorite things and prevention of receipt of desired things.
  • colton ... rosebud 2012/05/08 21:07:59
    colton delaney
    I actually use a shock collar on the dog which has done wonders and keeps him safe in our yard. he has an acre to play in on a busy road and stays safe, because he fears getting shocked doesnt mean he gets shocked. He is smart and well trained.
    my kids havent had a spankin in five years they are respectful and accountable for bad behaviour. the fear of the consequences is a big deterrent to bad behavior.
    show me a spoiled bratty kid who behaves badly and Ill show you parents who dont spank. If you cant keep a child in line at 3,7.or 10 years old, what will you be able to do when they are teenagers? removal of xbox and tv. will do very little to a teenager, do you actually think thats going to do anything to shape a teenagers behavior? We are in the real world here.
  • BIG BAD JOHN R. 2012/04/22 02:16:57
    BIG BAD JOHN R.
    +1
    If the kid commits a heinous offense crime, then yes it's its ok to handcuff him.
  • EmoMcParland 2012/04/22 00:18:25
    EmoMcParland
    I'm not hand cuffing my children who are late teens or earlie 20,s . If they disrespect my wife then they must be men & will be treated like men. They know this. I'm not trying to be a big man; just saying if you disrespect my wife; you are going to have a bad day. yes I'm a Christian; Not a Door Mat
  • keliffa 2012/04/21 21:07:10
    keliffa
    +1
    Each act needs to be taken into account. If a little punk really acts out in a violent matter and the cops are called, slap the cuffs on them.
  • XCloudPandaX 2012/04/21 20:37:17

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