J2150 Week 13: 6 Year Old in Handcuffs

What could a 6-year-old girl from Georgia possibly have done to deserve being handcuffed at school and brought to the police station? This just blows my mind. 

The video above was one I found on YouTube.com among many others. It was a pretty short video explaining how the little girl, Salecia Johnson, threw a tantrum during class and then threw furniture around the classroom and tore items off the walls.

Just from my experiences of working with young children as a babysitter and a nanny, I understand that children get out of hand sometimes But, I’ve never considered locking a child in handcuffs to be the appropriate response to their actions. I think for most children, a firm timeout or some sort of other punishment that does not include physical harm would work well. 

In this situation, I’m not exactly sure how out of control Salecia was, but it still seems way over the top to need to arrest her and proceed to bring her to the police station. 

In another video posted to CNN.comwith comments and narration by Piers

Salecia Johnson

Picture of Salecia Johnson from http://www.thegrio.com

Morgan, the mother of the little girl talked about the psychological effects that handcuffing someone of this age has on them for the rest of their life. I completely agree that this situation would be not only psychologically, but emotionally, damaging. I just don’t think having a tantrum in a kindergarten class is means to handcuff a child. This just doesn’t make sense.

Piers Morgan was extremely upset with this situation and I really like that he had no shame in expressing his opinion. In a short article under the video on CNN.com, posted by Jason Kurtz, a quote from Morgan read as follows: 

“Let me spell it out to those responsible in language even their minuscule brains may possibly understand, loudly and clearly: You PUT A SIX YEAR OLD GIRL IN HANDCUFFS. Shame. On you all.” -Piers Morgan 

I’m curious as to what others think of this news and I wish I heard the viewpoint of the teacher who had the police come in. Kindergarten teachers should know the appropriate response to a tantrum when they commit their career to working with such young children. 

This entry was published on April 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm and is filed under J2150. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “J2150 Week 13: 6 Year Old in Handcuffs

  1. A few things jump out when watching the video: why couldn’t they have taken more b-roll? Where was the mom? Has the child had tantrums before?

    After just having taught for four years, I have to say that some schools put metaphorical handcuffs on teachers when dealing with certain students. If there is documentation that the child has anger issues and you are only allowed one or two ways to “calm down” the kid, the only option left to teachers is to get administration involved. If that was the case and the mom wasn’t able to be contacted, I can see how a frazzled administrator would be thinking of the other kids and classroom property and involve the police. Is it the right decision? No. Do teachers sign up to be the sole disciplinarian of children? No. I’m curious as to where the mom and dad were (for this entire story) and how they have dealt with the issue. There’s a lot to the story that hasn’t been told, and I can almost guarantee that handcuffs are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems that Salecia has had to deal with (if comparing her life to other kids with violent tantrums at that age). Sad stuff.

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