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.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about handcuffing children. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • fluer 2012/04/20 17:00:46
    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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  • Jenai Goss larisak 2012/04/21 20:48:39
    Jenai Goss
    And in the meantime, let other children be HURT? Other people be INJURED? They called the cops because the school has no authority to discipline students who are out of control to the point of injury and assault. It was the cops who cuffed her and took her away in the cop car, not the school. Not only did she injure the principal, but she also resisted arrest. There is no age limit on the law for cuffing someone riding in the back of a cop car, and its the law that they be cuffed.
  • firebird 2012/04/21 04:56:48
    IF the kid was completely out of control then YES by all means handcuff the wannabe criminal... I raised four kids by myself. I had to be stern or they would have ended up in prison. Don't kid yourself here ! Children's bad actions are most normally due to what is going on or not going on in the home ! YOU cant be a best friend and a parent.. IT DON'T WORK !
  • Dagon 2012/04/21 04:36:45
  • Angela ... Dagon 2012/04/21 06:08:45
    Angela Chambers
    Yeah, you need it.
  • kobidobidog 2012/04/21 04:19:32 (edited)
    I Know it is easy for me to say this not being in the moment, but did anyone ask the kid what was his motivation was to do what he did? Getting him to talk could calm him down. There is another thing that human don't think about, but I talk about a lot, and that is the atlas being shifted, Other stresses can trigger humans to do violent acts like that kid did. www.upcspine.com. Atlas Orthogonal is good.
  • Aingean kobidob... 2012/04/21 11:03:26
    It says the cop tried to calm her down before he cuffed her.
  • kobidob... Aingean 2012/05/10 19:54:53 (edited)
    If the kid did not listen keeping the kid from hurting herself cuffing in that instance would be a good idea. I have no idea what the cop did to try to calm the kid down. The suits they wear are an imposing sight to a kid. That could be enough to frighten the kid no matter what the cop said. Did they ever find out what was upsetting the kid or was this just blind rage? Obviously the parents never taught the kid to be like Jesus is to obtain an eternal prize of infinite worth.
  • MorbidCynic 2012/04/21 04:08:38
    It is because of liberalism/progressivism that kids get handcuffed, whether for a good reason or a bad reason.
  • Merhabi Daham 2012/04/21 03:28:42
    Merhabi Daham
    It's better than pinning them to the ground on their faces and suffocating them. To death. In case that wasn't clear.
  • EastIndianFemme 2012/04/21 03:05:27
    Yes, these kids and teenagers of today under 19 are major jerks and are totally spoiled rotten to the core (parents fault)!!

    I cannot stand them!! If they get handcuffed and get sent to jail or prison, I hope they come out a "new" person and hoping to see what they did wrong, was wrong; whatever that was?
  • Elephan... EastInd... 2012/04/21 03:57:58 (edited)
    Elephant Lord
    It's more likely that they'll come out as prison thugs.
  • Diana EastInd... 2012/04/21 20:44:19
    Spoiled children yes but when a child acts out that much I can't help but wonder whether she is being abused or neglected at home. If the child was 12 then it wouldn't matter but at 6 you're still a product of the household you come from. Perhaps they should have taken the parents away instead, because something smells fishy.
  • Bear 2012/04/21 03:04:50
    Yes, it is the only SAFE way to restrain them; both for them and others
  • Gregaj7 2012/04/21 02:33:06
  • boatnectar 2012/04/21 01:45:04
  • RobHom 2012/04/21 01:34:28
    Aw hell, just smack the little cretin upside the head and go for some serious "4 corner counseling"!! On the other hand dousing the little snot with cold water then nailing him or her with a taser would show the little malcontent why there is a reason to be a good little, quiet and unseen twit....

    Don't get your panties in a wad folks.... I come from the generation where if you pulled some crap at school....your teacher would tan your hide, then send you to the principal would would get his or her licks in...and then would present you with a short note to your parents who had to both sign it....which meant you got your butt kicked a total of 3 or 4 times....not to mention grounded and ended up spending the next couple of weeks on a sh*t detail around the house.
  • POLICE ... RobHom 2012/04/21 18:34:37
    aaaaahhhh, you bring back memories!
  • RobHom POLICE ... 2012/04/21 21:36:08
    Yep, and I still have some pretty vivid memories....of after running the gauntlet at school, then having to carry the note home and have both of my parents sign it..... I think I felt much like a condemned man walking to the chamber....
  • Lisa 2012/04/21 01:24:03
    IMO opinion it is a reasonable thing to do when the kid is at a public school and is holding such an immensely violent temper tantrum. What do you think the cops have done, just say "calm down"?
  • Vivi Lopez 2012/04/21 01:01:20
    Vivi Lopez
    omg shes only six she was just throwing a tantrum
  • RobHom Vivi Lopez 2012/04/21 01:38:57
    Really...just a tantrum? Being forcefully destructive at that age indicates two things: 1. Her parents are unfit losers incapable of raising a child properly. 2. The kid needs to be tightened up, either with a strap or a straight jacket. A little familiarity with the effects of pain caused by unacceptable behavior works miracles...... The only other possibility is that the child is thoroughly psychologically unsound and needs to be treated before something more serious happens....
  • Kidasha RobHom 2012/04/21 02:14:07
    I agree to an extent. something needs to be done about that child. Perhaps a phychiatric evaluation was necessary but she is only six years old and thats certainly young enough to be set straight. The only question I have is will she have a criminal record ten years from now when she applies for a job?
  • Jenai Goss Kidasha 2012/04/21 20:52:30
    Jenai Goss
    To my knowledge, they arrested her for the assault and took her to the station, but are not planning on actually charging her with assault or taking her to court because of her age. So, this incident in particular shouldn't go on her record.
  • RobHom Kidasha 2012/04/21 21:42:28
    She won't show a record ever.... Juvenile records are sealed tighter than a drum. I know it for a fact.... When I was a kid...13...I took off in one of our cars...I was running away from home...someone called the cops...I got stopped...even got a ticket, and had to go downtown and deal with some guy in the court...I'd never been in trouble before so I got a warning from the guy in the court (not a judge)...and one really serious ass kicking from the old man...

    Nothing ever showed up on my MVR, or otherwise..... I think her biggest problem will be....being able to walk freely on the street and not locked up somewhere because she's wigged out...or really been destructive and got some cool down time in a juvie facility...
  • Epistem... Vivi Lopez 2012/04/21 06:23:14
    Epistemically Justified -- BN7
    What if in her tantrum, she hurt another child, instead of just the principal?

    I'd hate to be a parent getting a phone call that an unrestrained child throwing a tantrum just injured MY child by throwing a shelf or breaking glass.
  • Aingean Vivi Lopez 2012/04/21 11:06:24
    Just a tantrum? My two year old has 'just a tantrum'. Throwing his self on the floor and screaming and rarely a thrown toy, that is a tantrum. This was way beyond a tantrum.
  • Jenai Goss Vivi Lopez 2012/04/21 20:51:19
    Jenai Goss
    A tantrum that *injured people*. She was throwing things, pushed over a bookcase that injured the principal, was wildly out of control. This was not 'just a tantrum'. She was a danger to herself and others. The school called the cops because they didn;t have the authority/means to deal with the situation. The cops cuffed her because she wouldn;t calm down/resisted arrest for assault of the principal, and its the law that you be cuffed when arrested and riding in the back of a cop car.
  • abubincrazy 2012/04/21 00:50:08
    We CAN still pistol-whip them, though. Right?
  • jgh57 2012/04/21 00:49:11
    I'm for the good ole days where the principle would have smacked her butt with a paddle and sent her back to class. This kind of stuff just did not happen back then when kids knew there were consequences and schools were not afraid to keep order.
  • CHUCK 2012/04/21 00:16:13
  • Freeranger 2012/04/21 00:03:39
    Nothing like a small dose of reality to curb destructive juvenile behavior. Which action do you think might modify future behavior----cuffs and a car ride or "there, there, she didn't mean it....."

    IMO....good call. Cuff 'em and stuff 'em.
  • Honeybuns 2012/04/20 23:56:29
    Yes i think so if the kid is really bad. And does not listen. They need to know it will be consequences to what they do in the future. It will scare them but they might learn . To listen more to their parents and just follow rules. Another thing if you do handcuff a kid . You talk to them a lot and explain everything that is happening.
  • BoomLover 2012/04/20 23:47:24
    Goodness, did they have to handcuff her? Couldn't they have just pepper-sprayed her? (Mace?) Or shoot her in a non-vital spot, like the brain? This is a good one for Pycho 101 class to hash over....
  • CA Gal 2012/04/20 23:45:26
    CA Gal
    When they behave as this young lady was behaving...you bet!! My question would be, if she behaved this way at home....how would her parents have handled the situation? If she is difficult to control at 6, what will she be like at 16? Sometimes there is no reasoning with a little one, this is why spanking, controlled and in moderation is sometimes necessary. Since schools cannot spank (which I believe is a good thing) handcuffs were the next best thing LOL
  • BoomLover 2012/04/20 23:33:59
    Right, at least they didn't tase or shoot her, those are options, too!
  • P. Sturm 2012/04/20 22:46:59
    P. Sturm
    You'd better really think about what your doing. If my arms or legs were restrained as a kid (and probably still), I'd start having panic attacks and finally just lose it totally, if they didn't take them off. I broke them everytime. Plus my right ulna and radius once, dislocated both ulnae of few times, dislocated my ankles once, and usually had venous bleeding.
  • Soundstorm P. Sturm 2012/04/20 23:38:37
    Maybe it's YOU who needs to think about what you're doing before you hurt yourself rather than blame the people who are trying to save you from your self destruction.
  • P. Sturm Soundstorm 2012/04/21 02:13:16
    P. Sturm
    It's phobias, there isn't any thought involved. I always told them, they never believed me until I'd go into a growling, snarling frenzy and ripped the pivots out of the cuffs.
  • Soundstorm P. Sturm 2012/04/21 02:25:20
    You seriously need to chill.

    Cuff Her Danno
  • Jenai Goss P. Sturm 2012/04/21 21:00:33
    Jenai Goss
    Then don't do anything where you need to be cuffed. Otherwise, get a note from a psychiatrist saying you have Chiromerinthophobia, or better yet a medical ID tag with it, and they should find alternative methods.

    In her case, she was a child flailing around, throwing things, and causing harm to others. Cuffs were clearly justified.

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