5-year-old IR Student Handcuffed by State Police

Online outrage results in story being picked up by CNN

5-year-old+IR+Student+Handcuffed+by+State+Police

Image courtesy of Morguefile user xandert

All throughout social media, there have been stories of two New York state troopers who have handcuffed a five year old child. This child is known to be a special needs student at Philadelphia Primary, diagnosed with OCD, ADD, and separation anxiety. So it should be known this student would have a bad day every once in awhile–everyone has a bad day every once in awhile. The troopers then stated that they had placed the five-year-old in handcuffs “for their safety.” When the mother posted on Facebook about this fact, it was quickly shared throughout peoples timelines. Many people, based only on the mother’s view, were furious, “Why do you need to put a five year old in handcuffs?”

However, many people fail to understand that with these diagnoses, kids and adults can have break downs where they just lose it. The State Police who responded to the school deemed the student “out of control” and “combative.” They handcuffed the child and shackled his ankles, and placed him in the patrol car.  They have continuously and consistently stated in TV and print statements they felt they had to do this in part to prevent the child from harming himself.  Meanwhile, the mother, pursuing publicity, said that she was going to move the child into a different school district. She has stated she placed the child into the special needs class to avoid this situation, but feels the school district did not follow the agreed plans in controlling her son.  According to the Watertown Daily Times, the hospital psychiatrist who consulted on the child determined that the child did not have to be evaluated. The child was “simply throwing a tantrum.” The mother has nevertheless announced plans to sue the school district.

On the other hand, the state troopers and school are all agreeing they did everything they could to keep that child safe. It is said the child is prone to having these break downs, but when he began to get violent they did what they thought was best for the child. Without the police or even the school stepping in, major harm could have been done to the kid himself or anyone else in the room. The mother and a lot of people question “how could you fear a five year old?” Well if you were in the situation where you had no control over a kid, and the kid was throwing fists and kicking feet, and threatening people with pencils, you would probably be at a loss what to do with them, too. Sending the child to get an evaluation isn’t going to kill anyone. The teachers and school staff were strictly making sure the child was stable, and that the environment was ALSO safe for other students and adults. Safety is the most important part for the school and the police, but this is a balancing act between what is good for the individual and what is good for the rest.  The school could no longer teach the child in the state he was in, with the child’s out-of-bounds behavior, and didn’t know how else to respond other than making sure he, other students, and teachers were all safe.

Seeing both sides of this story is really the most important part, everyone is allowed their own opinion. No one is blaming the child, or the school. Please do not see it that way.