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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