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Posted at 04:58 PM ET, 04/17/2012

6-year-old handcuffed for throwing tantrum in school

A 6-year-old who was throwing a tantrum in a Georgia school was handcuffed by police, who were called by school officials, according to a local television station.

WMAZ-TV reported that a kindergartner at Creekside Elementary had knocked over a shelf that injured the principal, bitten a door knob, jumped on a paper shredder and attempted to break a glass frame.

School officials decided to call the police when they could not reach the girl’s mother. The WMAZ report says that when an officer tried to calm her, she resisted. That’s when she was handcuffed.

Milledgeville Chief of Police Dray Swicord was quoted as saying: “Our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. There is no age discrimination on that rule.”

The girl's father, Earnest Johnson, was unhappy that his daughter was handcuffed, WMAZ reported, and her mother, Candace Ruff, was quoted as saying: “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.”

Some of the readers who left comments on the WMAZ Web site said they actually sided with the school rather than the child, who has been suspended from school. Why?

Several comments agreed with this writer: “I agree with the school, let the police cuff her. If anyone at the school would have touched her the parents would have sued and said how wrong they were. I guarantee this kid has had behavior problems all year and the parent knew....”

Another writer had a different view, in the following response to other commenters: “You obviously haven't ever had the luxury of dealing with a child with an emotional disorder. As a parent of a child with autism I know that the state of Georgia has procedures in place to deal with irate children that doesn't include hauling a 6 year old to jail.”

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By  |  04:58 PM ET, 04/17/2012

 
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