Friday, July 16, 2010

Lawsuit filed for 6 year old handcuffed in school, it is about time!

In May of this year, a six year old student at Sarah T. Reed elementary school in Louisiana was handcuffed and shackled because he had gotten into an argument with another student over a chair.  Parents didn't find out until a couple of days later when he complained of his wrists being sore from the handcuffs.  To their astonishment, this hadn't been the first time their child was handcuffed at school, nor would it be the last for any of the students, without public outcry.

The child's name is Ja'Briel Weston.  On behalf of all of the students at Sarah T. Reed, parents Robin and Sebastian Weston are filing suit against the Superintendant, the Director of School Security, the Board of Education, the school Principal and two safety officers.  The lawsuit pushes for a complete overhaul of school policy and procedures regarding disciplinary action.

I have written about corporal punishment in public schools before, in regards to using a paddle.  Louisiana is one of the states remaining where it is still legal to use corporal punishment.  Again, I think this kind of discipline is unhealthy for children on many levels, and keeps them from feeling safe at school.  I will note that schools in New Orleans have become models for excellence in academia as they rebuild after the devastation of hurricane Katrina.  Lets hope their policies and procedures can rise to the same level.  I'll be interested to hear the outcome of this case, and will let you know as information becomes available.

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