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Zaftig 04-24-2005 03:39 AM

5-Year-Old Handcuffed
5-Year-Old Handcuffed By Florida Police On Camera

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A 5-year-old girl was handcuffed by police after she tore papers off a bulletin board and punched an assistant principal in kindergarten class, according to a video released by a lawyer for the child's mother. Caught On Camera: Images Show Girl Being Handcuffed.

The 30-minute tape shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers pinned her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, "No!''

The camera was rolling March 14 as part of a classroom self-improvement exercise at Fairmount Park Elementary, attorney John Trevena said.

Trevena, who provided the tape to the media this week, said he got it from police.

"The image itself will be seared into people's minds when you have three police officers bending a child over a table and forcibly handcuffing her,'' said Trevena, who represents the girl's mother, Inga Akins.

"On the day of this incident, the children were involved in a counting exercise, a math exercise," Trevena told NBC's Today Show. "Apparently the girl got upset because her jelly beans were taken away, something silly like that."

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt told the Associated Press said an investigation into the matter would be complete in about two weeks and the findings would be made public.

The Today Show asked St. Petersburg police and school district officials to appear with Trevena. Both declined that request for an interview.

Link to Article.

Hermione 04-24-2005 03:43 AM

saw this on NBC nightly news.


Jade 04-24-2005 08:08 PM

That's just...sad. And an investigation....

Gatsby 04-25-2005 06:33 PM

Uh, that's not really the whole story. That article seems a bit biased, in that it leaves out that the girl had been in the principal's office for over an hour as the principal tried to calm her down. She refused to calm down, making a mess of the principal's office, tearing down bulletin boards, striking and punching the principal, climbing up on tables, and being completely uncontrollable.

When the office tried to contact her mother, the mother said she couldn't come pick her up at that time.

The principal tried to restrain her, but the kid was going nuts. What more could the principal do but call the cops - any further action on her part would definitely have resulted in the principal being sued personally. When the cops got there, she still wouldn't chill out, so they handcuffed her. Good for them. It's not like they pepper sprayed her. The kid needed a serious lesson in respecting authority.

This is a perfect example of what happens when you get an unruly, undisciplined child, whose mother is prepared to sue when her child's behavior goes too far and school officials, who are totally unprepared to deal with this kind of thing precisely for fear of being sued are forced to call the police.

Avalon 04-26-2005 11:40 PM


When the office tried to contact her mother, the mother said she couldn't come pick her up at that time.

This speaks volumes.

Saxifrage 04-27-2005 03:15 PM

I thought the headline a bit intense and after seeing further footage of the girl's behavior I don't know what else could have been done. The child was being extremely belligerant and was uncontrolable. If the parent couldn't come to pick up the child what else was the school to do? I doubt they have a padded "time out" cell (might be a good idea though) and they aren't allowed to physically intervene. I imagine that the child's problem lies somewhere in the home, it should be looked into.

Zaftig 04-28-2005 01:24 AM

I completely agree that the article is biased but I just grabbed one from MSNBC because they are a well known news source.

Weird. When I saw the footage I thought the cuffing was completely un-called for. Sure, she was being a brat but doesn't every school have counsellors? I know that when a child goes spastic there is someone there trained for those situations at the schools I went to. I also agree that she must have some problems in the home but there is so much space left when it comes to when they called the mother that is left for specualtion. We have no idea why the mother couldn't go there. Heck, maybe she didn't have transportation. In any case I would have sent an officer to pick the mother up and bring her to the school. Also, three officers?? I wonder how many officers it takes for them to take down a grown man.

Gatsby 04-28-2005 05:59 AM

I think part of the problem here, and I'm recalling this from memory, is that there were four officers, and two were in training, which might be part of why the officers responded with the force they did. Young officers seem to be somewhat overzealous.

And it's entirely possible that the mother had a legitimate reason for being unavailable.

But it's my point of view that regardless of the number of principals or counselors or specialist that ANY school employs, the fact remains that when you have a child who is physically uncontrollable, the school is utterly impotent and restricted in the ways it can deal with that child.

In this litigious society, we've forced schools to resort to state/police action when it comes to any issue remotely physical. And I don't think it's the most efficient way to deal with these kids. But school employees are legitimately frightened of personal liability.


If it weren't for mothers like this, so happy to sue, then children like this could be dealt with entirely outside police intervention in the first place.

It's so ironic.

zenbabe 05-04-2005 04:05 AM

that article is totally biased. A five year old can do a lot of damage, and people (teachers) arn't allowed or are to scared to physically handle another persons child...I mean, lets get real..its a liabilty.

I thought it was a bit excessive, but I bet that little girl shit her pants and learned her lesson.

I was actually joking with J about it, because he carries two sets of handcuffs..the normal ones, and then the big ones for dem big mens..

so I asked him where he kept the Baby Gap kid cuffs....

*I guess you had to be there*

§olomon 05-16-2005 04:38 AM

Handcuffing is not assault, only in the minds of the general public. It is meant to restrain someone, from doing damage to others or themselves.
So they had to handcuff a 5 yr old who was having a fit, and a history of this sort of thing... in my mind that is not assault. Yet people read "5 year old" and automaticaly gasp.

When your child is having a temper tantrum and you send him/her up to their room and punish them not to leave for a few hrs, is that not restraint of a certain level? Perhaps not as extreme, but it is in the same grey area.

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