Handcuffs Used as Punishment for Unruly Elementary School Students
Disciplining students is often an unpleasant necessity in many classrooms, but what would provoke a first-grade teacher to break out the handcuffs?
Six-year-old Ja’Briel Weston, a student at the Sarah T. Reed Elementary School in New Orleans, was handcuffed twice in the span of a week. Once he was shackled to a chair by his ankle for disobeying his teacher, and two days later was handcuffed by a security guard.
Ja’Briel’s father met with the school’s principal and asked her to stop using handcuffs on elementary school children. The principal, however, insisted that school policy permitted the use of handcuffs, seizures and arrests. Now Ja’Briel’s parents are suing the school and the district for the psychological and emotional trauma the extreme punishment caused their son, in an effort to bring attention to the school’s policy.
“This is increasingly cruel, but unfortunately not unusual punishment, since New Orleans isn’t the only city to cuff a six-year old,” writes Brentin Mock in The Root, referring to a similar hand cuffing incident in Florida’s Brevard County. Another example of an extreme discipline tactic is the Dallas high school that allegedly used cage fighting to settle disputes.