Quantcast

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!
You!
Add Photos & Videos

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.

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • Jenai Goss P. Sturm 2012/04/21 20:56:42
    Jenai Goss
    Yes, better to let her scream and bash her head against the partition as the cops are driving, risking an accident, then risk her getting sore risks or a fractured wrist from her own stupidity. Sorry, but its the *law* that you get cuffed when you are arrested and riding in the back of the cop car. She should have thought about the consequences before she pushed over the bookshelf and injured the principals shoulder, or started throwing things around the classroom in general.

    Or, is any possible panic attack she might have due to her heightened sensibilities more important than the physical pain and suffering she already inflicted on the other students and teachers around her? Since when did we start giving in to tantrums and criminal behavior, and ignoring the pain of the victims?
  • BackWoodsMike 2012/04/20 22:41:48
    BackWoodsMike
    I believe the Officers should have NOT cuffed the child..

    Even though it is legal, in most cases, we can subdue the child without harming them, and place them in the back of the Cruiser with an escort Officer.

    On the legality issue..

    I'm not sure about GA, but in TN there are no POST regulations prohibiting a Law Enforcement Officer from restraining a juvenile using either standard handcuffs or flex-cuffs.

    Juveniles are subject to same arrest and custody as adults. “Taken into custody” means being restrained (cuffs).

    From the State of Tennessee...
    - - -

    “JUVENILE JUSTICE
    You can be arrested or taken into custody for:

    1. Delinquent offenses: acts that would be crimes if
    committed by adults (traffic violations, theft,
    assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism, etc.);

    2. Status offenses: acts that are against the law only
    for minors (drinking alcohol, using tobacco, curfew
    violation, skipping school, running away,
    being unruly, etc.);

    3. Being dependent, neglected or abused: you can
    be taken from your home if your health or safety
    is seriously threatened or if there is a chance you
    may leave town to get away from the court. You
    can only be taken away from home if there is no
    other way to keep you safe”

    http://www.tennessee.gov/tccy...

    - - -

    The only juvenile that I too...









    I believe the Officers should have NOT cuffed the child..

    Even though it is legal, in most cases, we can subdue the child without harming them, and place them in the back of the Cruiser with an escort Officer.

    On the legality issue..

    I'm not sure about GA, but in TN there are no POST regulations prohibiting a Law Enforcement Officer from restraining a juvenile using either standard handcuffs or flex-cuffs.

    Juveniles are subject to same arrest and custody as adults. “Taken into custody” means being restrained (cuffs).

    From the State of Tennessee...
    - - -

    “JUVENILE JUSTICE
    You can be arrested or taken into custody for:

    1. Delinquent offenses: acts that would be crimes if
    committed by adults (traffic violations, theft,
    assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism, etc.);

    2. Status offenses: acts that are against the law only
    for minors (drinking alcohol, using tobacco, curfew
    violation, skipping school, running away,
    being unruly, etc.);

    3. Being dependent, neglected or abused: you can
    be taken from your home if your health or safety
    is seriously threatened or if there is a chance you
    may leave town to get away from the court. You
    can only be taken away from home if there is no
    other way to keep you safe”

    http://www.tennessee.gov/tccy...

    - - -

    The only juvenile that I took into custody "cuffed" was a 12 year old male who attacked his Mother with a screwdriver.

    Personally I did not like doing it, but in hindsight it was for the best to keep him from injuring anyone else or himself.

    In all honesty, I'm not sure how the Officer got the cuffs on a six year old girl without them falling off.

    If the cuffs are compressed to a small size, they will not lock, and the ratchet part will protrude, making them dangerous.

    cuffsize

    cuffsmall
    (more)
  • kcandi 2012/04/20 22:41:11
    kcandi
    +3
    I guess they should have beat her ass instead. Police shouldn't have to deal with an out of control child who is having nothing more than an violent temper tantrum, and the schools definately don't need those types of disruptions.
  • BackWoo... kcandi 2012/04/20 22:52:50
    BackWoodsMike
    You are correct, but the general public expects the Police to respond (only to be condemned for responding).

    Our County, as with most, have SRO (School Resource Officers) that are trained in dealing with children.. at least in our County they are.

    Cuffs are the very last resource in restraining a child, and in our County is rarely used. In most cases, just the presence of a Law Enforcement Officer subdues them.
  • kcandi BackWoo... 2012/04/20 22:56:00
    kcandi
    +2
    I bet the use becomes more common since a vast majority of our young parents just want to nod and smile at their acting out kids. By the time they get to school, they have not boundaries and have not learned any self control.
  • teigan 2012/04/20 22:37:40
    teigan
    +4
    Teachers are not allowed to touch children today. Even police are afraid to restrain them for fear of being accused of touching them in a sexual manner. She was clearly out of control and a danger to herself and others. They really had no choice. At least they didn't taser her like I have heard that some officers have done.
  • Soundstorm teigan 2012/04/20 23:33:42
    Soundstorm
    +3
    Learning the consequences for their bad behavior is what today's children are systematically being denied today. Sooner or later this society is going to have to pull back to the bygone reputedly barbaric practice of spanking which has reliably produced generations of civil and self controlled individuals up until now.
  • CA Gal Soundstorm 2012/04/21 00:01:13
    CA Gal
    +2
    If parents are parenting their children as they should...a swat on the butt when they're 2 and 3 (when the "testing" begins) it would lessen the need for it later on. Children learn quickly. They just need to know what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not. If this young lady's parents had done that when she was younger, it wouldn't have spilled over to the school age years.
  • Aingean CA Gal 2012/04/21 11:13:47
    Aingean
    +1
    My son is going through that stage. I am really hating the terrible twos, I am hoping he grows out of it soon. Even so his worse temper tantrums wouldn't even think about being as bad as this little girls. Kind of sad that a two year old is better behaved then a 6..
  • CA Gal Aingean 2012/04/21 22:01:34 (edited)
    CA Gal
    I agree. Sounds like you're going in the right direction. For your son, this is a time of extremes...extremely happy, extremely sad, extremely angry. Everything is extreme! One thing I learned though, every phase for a child only lasts for 6 months or less...then they seem to outgrow it and find something new LOL. It's not a battle that is won overnight...hang in there you'll be just fine. God never gives you more than what you can handle.
  • Aingean CA Gal 2012/04/21 22:53:18
    Aingean
    He is really good for his age. He only throws an occasonal fit, I am very lucky with him.
  • CA Gal Aingean 2012/04/21 23:33:29
    CA Gal
    +1
    Sounds like you are giving him the most important thing a parent can give....your time! Good for you and keep up the good work!! Occasional fits are just his way of letting you know he is a normal kid LOL
  • Aingean CA Gal 2012/04/21 23:53:33
    Aingean
    +1
    :D He is a real test in patience at times but he is well worth it.
  • teigan Soundstorm 2012/04/21 00:08:56
    teigan
    +3
    I agree, nothing barbaric about spanking.
  • Soundstorm teigan 2012/04/21 00:29:33
    Soundstorm
    +2
    Prohibiting it has had the effect of producing barbarians.
  • teigan Soundstorm 2012/04/21 00:32:37
    teigan
    +1
    I agree, I was spanked and never even thought of going off at a teacher or principal. My children were spanked and never thought of bringing a gun to school.
  • Soundstorm teigan 2012/04/21 00:41:29
    Soundstorm
    +1
    Self styled 'child experts' with degrees claim spanking teaches violence to an innocent impressionable young mind. But the tempests of the terrible twos clearly show that violence is embedded in our nature and it needs to be reined in and controlled as early as possible.
  • teigan Soundstorm 2012/04/21 02:20:06
    teigan
    +1
    I agree 100%.
  • CA Gal Soundstorm 2012/04/21 22:08:51
    CA Gal
    +1
    There is no reasoning with a 2 year old LOL They don't understand logic. A swat on the butt is a good attention getter! Nothing violent about that! My son at the age of 2 walked up and kicked my sleeping dog in the stomach, then looked at me like "so what are you gonna do about it". Of course, I walked over and swatted him on the butt. He was testing me, so I had to show him how the game was played. BTW, the dog was a 100 pound pit bull....my son didn't hurt him at all. My dog just looked up as if to say, what was that? My dogs are well disciplined too LOL
  • TasselLady 2012/04/20 21:44:21
    TasselLady
    +1
    I'm all for it if the kid turns out to be a psychopath or sociopath.
    Sociopath
    http://eatourbrains.com/EoB/w...
  • El Prez 2012/04/20 21:39:57
    El Prez
    +3
    Freak outs are not OK! Some non injury control os needed. Hnadcuffs may be a little too much but what else do police have to control little freak outs. Maybe we need to provide them with nets. Just net them up and take them home to the parents who have been allowing this behaviour at home.
  • Nica24 2012/04/20 21:38:56
    Nica24
    +2
    Sometimes its just the extent that it needs to go. Those teachers can't go off and spank the child. If the kids already causing harm to those around them. Unfortunately, this is the route it needs to go....
  • Red_Horse 2012/04/20 21:34:18 (edited)
  • kcandi Red_Horse 2012/04/20 22:42:15
    kcandi
    +2
    lol, that made me chuckle!!!
  • Red_Horse kcandi 2012/04/20 22:43:32
  • Soundstorm Red_Horse 2012/04/20 23:28:38
    Soundstorm
    +2
    Hmmm....Perhaps a juvenile standard cattle prod? Shocking as it may be to our civilized sensibilities a time traveler to maybe 70 years in the future may find it to be a routine method of control in a broken down society.
  • Red_Horse Soundstorm 2012/04/21 00:09:26
  • Soundstorm Red_Horse 2012/04/21 00:32:03
    Soundstorm
    +1
    Oh I wouldn't be that pessimistic about our society's survival. And I know you were joking. The fact that we're joking about it now is a sign we're not too far gone yet.
  • Red_Horse Soundstorm 2012/04/21 02:30:06
  • Soundstorm 2012/04/20 21:21:40
    Soundstorm
    +2
    Traumatising to the kid. Really shouldn't do that to them even though handcuffs have mostly been my idea of toys. But something's got to be done about that temper of hers. I suggest ice cold water.
  • teigan Soundstorm 2012/04/20 22:42:26
    teigan
    +3
    I would agree, that works to shock them back into reality. But then they would have probably been sued for something.

    When my neice was about 4 she was throwing a tantrum in a mall, her mother calmly walked over to a soda machine, purchased a cold soda and walked back and dumped it over her head. Tantrum stopped immediately, of course bystanders where appalled.
  • Soundstorm teigan 2012/04/20 23:23:35
    Soundstorm
    +1
    Leaves no lasting wounds physical or psychological and it unequivocally gets their attention.
  • teigan Soundstorm 2012/04/21 00:09:57
    teigan
    +1
    It sure does especially when they don't expect it. Shock has it's value.
  • Aingean teigan 2012/04/21 11:17:18
    Aingean
    +1
    My son was screaming, just to scream, in petco yesterday. I pinched his nose and he stopped. The few people that were around gave me a dirty look. I just smiled and asked them if they prefered to hear him screaming. They walked off.
  • teigan Aingean 2012/04/22 07:50:31
    teigan
    +1
    I know people can be so annoying when it's none of their business.
  • Aingean teigan 2012/04/22 16:31:55
    Aingean
    +1
    Agreed.
  • Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦ 2012/04/20 21:20:02 (edited)
    Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦
    +6
    Handcuffs are over the top.

    When I worked as a counselor, we were taught how to restrain kids throwing a tantrum. The problem is that it requires physical contact (we call it a "basket hold", holds the kid in place and gives them a chance to calm down) and I'm afraid that teachers and police officers alike are afraid of facing another sort of controversy-- this time in the form of adults having physical contact with another person's kid.

    Some kids have issues. Sometimes it's from the home, sometimes its biological. A small kid can go out of control for no apparent reason-- and there is therefore no reasoning with them. It could be for a variety of reasons. But handcuffs simply aren't the answer.

    I would have personally preferred to see the officer physically but gently and firmly restrain the kid in the basket hold or something similar until she calmed down. It's fairly easy to do, and pretty hard to break. I should know-- when my brother and I got into fights, he could easily and insultingly overpower me with that. Jerk. Such a cheat.

    Edit: If anyone doesn't know what the basket hold is, you basically turn the kid around so that their back is braced against your hip. You grab each arm opposite to your own and cross them over the kid's chest, and pin them in place until they cease. It doesn't harm the kid, and it also prevents the kid's struggles from harming you (or other people, for that matter.)
  • teigan Yuki ~ ... 2012/04/20 22:47:40
    teigan
    +1
    This child sounds like she could have some issues. So many children suffer from austism these days, mild cases could cause these kinds of outbursts. I believe you are right that police and school official are afraid to touch children today, so they really had no choice. If children have issues I think it would be best for parents to discuss these with the school in advance and come to an agreement as to how these problems can be dealt with,
  • Yuki ~ ... teigan 2012/04/20 23:29:46 (edited)
    Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦
    +5
    I think it's also an issue that parents don't always realize their child is on the autistic spectrum, especially in the early years when it's hardest to tell... or are afraid to tell the school administration when the child is extremely high-functioning and normal in every other aspect (e.g: Aspergers). But I definitely agree-- ideally, the parents should be aware, and make the school aware, and then come to a discussed agreement for appropriate ways to handle such a child. Ideally, they would not have had to resort to handcuffs, although I'm sorry to say that in this case, they really did have no other choice.

    I think it would have worked out better if the child had been held in a basket hold. Sometimes, being held like that makes a person feel "safe" and makes them able to calm down more easily. It's just unfortunate that it had to turn out this way this time. Because otherwise, they could easily get in trouble for "touching" the kid. It's distressing that it's come to this in our society.

    I sincerely hope that if the child DOES have those kind of issues, that this opens up discussion between parents and school about how to best handle it next time. Unfortunately, instances like this most often result in the child being punished and blamed for everything, and little being done to address the root of the problem and to find a solution. :'(
  • teigan Yuki ~ ... 2012/04/21 00:13:11
    teigan
    +1
    I agree, I thought of Aspergers right away when I read this story because my friends granddaughter has it and has a tendency to go into tantrums like these. Her mother caught it when she was four.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/10/21 11:55:59

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals