Another Child Falls Victim to being Disciplined; Oh the Horror!

Another Child Falls Victim to being Disciplined; Oh the Horror!

-From 13wmaz.com

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Milledgeville’s acting police chief, Dray Swicord, said Tuesday that he stands by an officer’s decision to handcuff an elementary school student for safety Friday after she allegedly threw a tantrum.

Swicord said the arresting officer is not under investigation for his actions.

Meantime, the girl’s parents are trying to rally community support.

The parents said they’re meeting today with local activists and ministers.  Oscar Davis Jr., who identified himself as a community activist, said they plan to get attorneys involved and they plan to contact activist Al Sharpton.

According to the police report, kindergartner Salecia Johnson is accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing furniture.

She was crying in the principal’s office at Creekside Elementary before police arrived Friday. The report says the girl knocked over a shelf that injured the principal. It also says she was seen biting the door knob of the office and jumping on the paper shredder. And, it says, she attempted to break a glass frame above the shredder.

The report says when the officer tried to calm the child, she resisted and was cuffed.

“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,” said Milledgeville Chief of Police Dray Swicord.

They took the child to the police station where she was charged with simple assault and damage to property. Because of her age, she will not be prosecuted.

Her mother, Constance Ruff. says her daughter was suspended and cannot return to school until August.

“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,” said Constance Ruff.

“She might have misbehaved, but I don’t think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department,” said her aunt, Candace Ruff.

Johnson’s parents told 13WMAZ’s Judy Le Tuesday morning they have no further comment today. They did say that their daughter has been having nightmares since being taken from school last Friday and they plan to talk to a doctor about that.

13WMAZ spoke with several other Central Georgia police and sheriff’s departments. None of them could remember handcuffing a child that young. They say the use of handcuffs would be at the officer’s discretion and based on whether the child is a threat to herself or others.

“A 6-year-old in kindergarten. They don’t have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child,” said Earnest Johnson, Salecia’s father.

“Call the police? Is that the first step? Or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child?” asked Candace Ruff.

Police say they tried to contact Johnson’s mother but weren’t able to reach her.

Later at a news conference:

Acting Chief Dray Swicord said Salecia Johnson was handcuffed and taken from Creekside Elementary last Friday after she caused damage and injured the principal.

He said an officer was called to the school “to assist with an unruly juvenile who had damaged other students’ property, school property, and had injured the principal.”

According to the chief, the principal told the officer that Salecia had also run away from school several times.

He said police were called after school officials couldn’t reach the girl’s parents.

Swicord said the girl was taken in handcuffs to the police station. There, the cuffs were removed and the girl was taken to a meeting room and given something to drink while officers continued trying to reach family.

Swicord said they eventually reached an aunt. The girl was released to the aunt’s custody and was not charged because of her age.

The chief said Salecia “was never placed in a holding cell or jail cell and the student’s safety was of the utmost importance.”

He left without answering questions.

Earlier today, Swicord said he stood by his officer’s actions and he doesn’t plan any further investigation of the matter.

After Swicord’s news conference, Oscar Davis Jr., who described himself as a community activist, made a statement of his own.

He criticized how police and school officials handled the case.

He said, “The school never called the parents” — even though Johnson’s mother told 13WMAZ that she received calls on her cell phone but couldn’t answer because it was out of minutes.

Davis also denied that the 6-year-old had run away from school.
He said the child had misbehaved before in school, but said that was just normal problems for a child of that age.

He also questioned school officials’ claims that Johnson injured the principal. He challenged them to release hospital records.

The report says when the officer tried to calm the child, she resisted and was cuffed.

The parents said they’re meeting today with local activists and ministers. Davis said they plan to get attorneys involved and they plan to contact activist Al Sharpton.

They [Johnson's parents] did say that their daughter has been having nightmares since being taken from school last Friday and they plan to talk to a doctor about that.

Yet another sweet innocent child being unfairly disciplined. Give me a break.  From the police incident report that can be viewed here, the attempt to get in touch with the mother 6 times. “Johnson’s mother told 13WMAZ that she received calls on her cell phone but couldn’t answer because it was out of minutes.” In my day, there wouldn’t had been the need for the police to have been called, my principle and dean knew how to use a paddle. (personal experiences)  But, in today’s age where every child is an angel, no matter what they do, you always have parents and groups to circle around the child and cry foul.  Time to call Al Sharpton.

“They [Johnson's parents] did say that their daughter has been having nightmares since being taken from school last Friday and they plan to talk to a doctor about that.”  I wonder if those nightmares may include discovering that in the real world, there are consequences to your actions, disciplining for misbehavior and punishment for crimes?  I guess I can see why the parents are worried for the child if she was to actually realize that.

Just on a curios note; How many of you remember when you got in trouble at school, and got paddled, you got it worse when you got home?

2 responses to “Another Child Falls Victim to being Disciplined; Oh the Horror!

  1. The media had no business putting that six year old child’s picture in the paper. They did not do it to the fifteen year old who was smuggling immigrants into Texas. They said because of his age they could not show his face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s