That story states:
Police said a small shelf thrown by the child struck the principal in the leg during the fracas. The child also jumped on a paper shredder and tried to break a glass frame, the police report states. The school called police. When an officer tried to calm the child in the principal’s office, she resisted, police say. She “was restrained by placing her hands behind her back and handcuffed,” a police report states.
A juvenile complaint was filed, accusing the girl of simple battery and damage to property. The police department’s policy is to handcuff people when they are taken to the police station, regardless of their age, interim Police Chief Dray Swicord said. “The reason we handcuff detainees is for the safety of themselves as well as the officer,” he said Tuesday.
The girl’s aunt, Candace Ruff, went with the child’s mother to pick her up from the police station. She said Salecia had been in a holding cell and complained about the handcuffs. “She said they were really tight. She said they really hurt her wrists,” Ruff said. “She was so shaken up when we went there to pick her up.”
The police chief said the girl was taken to the police department’s squad room, not a holding cell, and officers there tried to calm her and gave her a Coke.
The girl was suspended and can’t return to school until August, her mother, Constance Ruff, told WMAZ-TV, which first reported the story.
“We would not like to see this happen to another child, because it’s horrifying. It’s devastating,” her aunt told The Associated Press.
Here is the original post from Monday:
A few folks sent me links to this news story out of Milledgeville where an officer handcuffed a kindergartner for what police said were safety concerns about the child’s out-of-control behavior.
The readers who sent me the link to this story disapprove of the strong police response, insisting there are better ways to contain and calm a hysterical 6-year-old than clamping handcuffs on her. Afterward, the child was charged with simple assault and damage to property.
I read the comments posted to the WMAZ-TV site, and local respondents split over whether this was an overreaction. I expect we will hear more about this story and a more detailed police response.
According to the police report, a kindergartner was crying in the principal’s office at Creekside Elementary before police arrived Friday. The report says when the officer tried to calm the child, she resisted and was cuffed.
The little girl is accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing furniture. The report mentions the girl knocked over a shelf that injured the principal. Police say they tried to contact her mother but weren’t able to reach her. They took the child to the police station where she was charged with simple assault and damage to property. Because of her age, she will not have to go to court and will not be sentenced.
Her mother, Constance Ruff. says her daughter was suspended and cannot return to school until August. “She has mood swings some days, which all of us had mood swings some days. I guess that was just one of her bad days that day,” said Constance Ruff.
“A 6-year-old in kindergarten. They don’t have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child,” said Earnest Johnson, Salecia’s father.
“She might have misbehaved, but I don’t think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department,” said her aunt, Candace Ruff. “Call the police? Is that the first step? Or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child?”
WMAZ spoke with other police and sheriff’s departments. None of them could remember handcuffing a child that young. They say the use of handcuffs would be at the officer’s discretion and based on whether the child is a threat to herself or others.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog