6 Year Olds Were Handcuffed For Talking In Class And Told They Would Never See Their Parents Again


Handcuffed: LaShanda Smith says her son was cuffed for hours and told he was going to prison (posed photo)

A primary school security guard handcuffed a group of first-grade children for hours and told them they would go to jail for talking in class, a lawyer has alleged.

Carver Primary School security officer David Allen also taunted the six- and seven-year-olds by saying they would ‘never see their parents again’, according to attorney Michael Carin, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Mr Carin is the lawyer for a family suing Chicago Public Schools over the alleged ‘reckless’ detention, which has left their son with ‘permanent’ and ‘personal’ injuries.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in Cook Country Circuit Court, LaShanda Smith accuses the officer of acting ‘in conscious disregard’ of her son’s safety. She is seeking more than $100,000 in damages over the incident.

Yesterday it emerged that the boy was just one of many who were allegedly reprimanded in such a way.

In an email to the Chicago Tribune, Mr Carin said school officials at Carver Primary School on the city’s far South Side authorised the on-campus security guard in March 2010 to discipline some first-graders who were being disruptive.

Giving the Tribune details not disclosed in the filed complaint Mr Carin said Mr Allen removed the students from class and held them in another office on campus where there were no other adults present.

Mr Carin said the students were handcuffed for hours and told that ‘they were going to prison and would never see their parents again’.

‘There appears to be no reason for an officer to isolate 6- and 7-year-old children, place them in handcuffs and threaten them for hours during a school day, or any other day,’ Carin wrote to the Tribune.

He said the Chicago Board of Education had ignored attempts to resolve this case outside the courtroom.

‘Unfortunately, we had to file a lawsuit because the Chicago Board of Education ignored my client on the day of the imprisonment and every day thereafter,’ Mr Carin told the Tribune. ‘We hope the Chicago Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility and resolves the matter quickly.’

In the complaint Ms Smith, describes the guard’s action as ‘reckless’ and said her son suffered injuries both ‘permanent’ and ‘personal’.

Campus officials are accused of providing ‘untrained and unqualified persons for the tasks of disciplining, restraining, controlling and ensuring the safety of students’.

CPS, along with the Board of Education, are defendants in the case. Neither the security officer nor school administrators are named as defendants.

CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said yesterday that school officials have not yet seen the complaint and need to review it before commenting.

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One Response

  1. Mercy! They were given experience in how criminals are handled? What’s next? Some of them may like it.

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