‘Zero Tolerance’? No… Zero Brains, Zero Compassion

The Boston Globe has the story (oh, shit… the story is via AP. Excuse the blank space while I find another source… OK, here’s another source, but you’ll still have to read the AP source for some of the facts I write about):

CBS has the story:

Six-year-old girl handcuffed and arrested for throwing tantrum at Georgia elementary school

(CBS/WMAZ) MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A 6-year-old elementary school student was handcuffed and arrested Friday after she allegedly threw a tantrum in class.

CBS affiliate WMAZ reports that according to the police report, the girl tore items off the walls and threw furniture. The report also says the girl knocked over a shelf that injured the school principal.

The girl was crying in the principal’s office at Creekside Elementary before police arrived. When the officer tried to calm the child, she resisted and was handcuffed.

“Our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. There is no age discrimination on that rule,” said Milledgeville Chief of Police Dray Swicord.

Police took the young girl to the police station where she was charged with simple assault and damage to property. As she is only 6-years-old, she will not have to go to court.

The girl was also suspended until August.

I grew up as the son of a high school teacher and a middle school counselor. I am not insensitive to the problems of classroom discipline faced by teachers, counselors and school administrators. Indeed, my father once disarmed a mentally disturbed 13-year-old girl who brought a concealed gun into the school office, intending to shoot the principal.

But I’m sorry… any teacher who cannot deal with a kid who has a cell phone or even a condom in class, or even a six-year-old who throws a violent temper tantrum, without calling the police… should find another line of work.

Oh, and why did police refuse to say what set off the kid’s tantrum? Note that the article does not say “the police did not know…”

If you think actions such as handcuffing a six-year-old and charging her with battery assault and damage to property constitute “good discipline,” you’re fucking, full-blown batshit crazy. Arresting kindergartners traumatizes kids in ways adults cannot even fathom. I cannot imagine it leads to better classroom discipline.

A kindergartner with an arrest record… that’s just what our society needs, right? Oh, did I mention… the six-year-old girl is African American? Who’d have expected that in the great State of Georgia! [/snark] (Or any other state, Southern or otherwise. This stuff is happening everywhere.) Maybe that’s why the cops refused to name the provocation… was she perhaps the target of a racial slur?

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  • thepoormouth  On Monday April 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Oh for fuck’s sake. If a teacher can’t control the tantrums of a six year old then that teacher isn’t fit for the job.

    As for the polices procedures are one thing but handcuffing a small child. THat just comes over as sheer bloody idiocy

    • Steve  On Monday April 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Shaun, every time I think of this episode, I am beside myself with despair for my country. Over and over, I think, “To this have we descended.”

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