What is the correct response for a police officer when confronted with a misbehaving child in an elementary school setting? Are professional law enforcement called in as a first resort or as a last resort and then what? Well, for a five-year-old elementary school child at Rio Calaveras Elementary in Stockton, California he found out that swift punishment by zip-tying him was the best response educators and the police could arrive at, according to Free Thought Project.
Like any other very tense situation that police are called into, only part of the story is every given to them and use of force is a judgment call that upon reflection may be regrettable later. So when Michael Davis, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, began misbehaving and became disruptive according to school administrators called law enforcement. They apparently “felt their only means of quelling the behavior of this 5 year old was to involve the police,” suggested Free Thought Project.
Where is the line for police and school administrators that disciplining a kindergarten child, even with special needs can only be quieted by calling in law enforcement? Where is the professional training that school teachers and administrators receive in dealing with children like Michael Davis?
It appears that the school administration had fallen short on several of its legal responsibilities to that child that may reflect badly on the school when and if legal action is taken against by Michael’s mother Thelma Gray. She asserts that the school should have included a behavioral intervention plan which would have been performed by his IEP. No such plan appears to have been provided for the five-year old, according to Simple Justice.
In fact, if the plan had been provided for the young child, the result would have been a means to identify and address negative behaviors and reinforce positive behaviors. It appears that the legal approach which is mandated by law was ignored and instead the school took the quick route and relied on law enforcement to treat the child’s behavior suggests Simple Justice.
The direct result of police intervention is that the five-year-old kindergartener is now being forced to spend time at a hospital in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to the Free Thought Project. This is of course after having his feet and hands zip-tied like a criminal and then charged with battery on a police officer.
This type of quick draw response by school administrators who would rather call law enforcement as a first resort instead of dealing with common disciplinary issues is questionable. Take for example the plight of a deaf 12-year-old student who earlier this year was tased by the police at school when school administrators did not want to deal with him, suggests the West Hartford Path.
The student who according to filed court documents, “was sitting calmly in a chair was approached by the police officer and, was tased which resulted in “ causing “causing burns, paralysis and pain throughout his body. He was then “forcibly handcuffed,” according to the West Hartford Path.
Again, just where is the line between school disciplinary responsibility and calling in the police to use nearly maximum force to subdue and arrest a five, six or eight year old? Would you allow it if this was your child?
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