boy handcuffed on the way to school

Tah - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/norfolk-...



let's try this again



This young man was on his way to school and handcuffed for suspected truancy.



I watch the local news and they are saying that is the procedure to deal with truants, to handcuff them and take to them school



Is this the way to deal with truants?



should they be treated this way even if they are not sure if the student is a truant?



is an apology enough for this boy who was on his way to school, could see his school from where he was stopped, was handcuffed, embarrassed and then suffered an anxiety attack?



how should we deal with suspected truants? Is handcuffing them and putting them in the back of a police car ever the way?

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Tara - posted on 12/21/2010

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I don't agree at all. Reeks of a police state. Honestly, don't cops have real criminals to catch?
If it were my kid I would be raising hell. There are better ways of addressing truancy.
This is unethical in my opinion.
And will only perpetuate a distrust of police and authority.

Jenn - posted on 12/21/2010

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They handcuff kids who are truant?!? That's insane! I'm pretty certain it isn't like that here - thank goodness! How do they know he wasn't coming from a Dr appointment, or that he is a child who is homeschooled, or any other possible reason why he wasn't in school at the time.

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Deborah Ridgely - posted on 09/02/2013

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Handcuffing is way out of line! Unless they are seen doing something else illegal, how does the PO know they are a student and where they attend school? So many children are homeschooled and virtual schooled as well! Is that seriously necessary?

Barb - posted on 12/22/2010

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Thank you for the well wishes. I also was determined NOT to be in the hosp for the holidays. I'm a horrible patient. However, i am on painkillers, so i'll either be incredibly funny or not many any sense at all.. so in other words, the norm.

Nikki - posted on 12/21/2010

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Why is it the cop's responsibility to deal with students, I find that strange. However that being said I agree with Dana, if a cop asks you to do something you do it.

Stifler's - posted on 12/21/2010

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AHAHA this reminds me of my school. The principal and deputy principal used to drive around town catching "waggers" in their van. Then they implemented a system where if you weren't marked here on the roll their phone automatically rang your house to leave a message saying you were absent.



Truancy IS an important problem. But let's see... school is so fricking boring that I don't blame the kids that used to wag all the time. I even used to wag "YAK" which went for half an hour of doing nothing. I think this is a waste of police time though, and the onus should be on the education department to sort out truancy.

[deleted account]

If a cop asks you to get in the car, you get in the car.....if you don't, deal with the consequences.

Becky - posted on 12/21/2010

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Sounds pretty over the top to me! If he was a known trouble maker, I can see it, but if my model student was taken to school in handcuffs and a police car, I'd be right pissed off!
Barb, I hope things are okay and you don't have to spend the holidays in the hospital!

Laura - posted on 12/21/2010

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IMO this is the reason some people don't like the police and won't call them even if they need to. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. I mean you're doing nothing wrong and get cuffed, imagine how embarassed you would have been as a teen.

Not everyone who gets put in a police car is cuffed. My ex and I got minors in high school and was taken to the station to wait for our parents without ever getting cuffed. But then again it's a small town and not a city. Although it's probably a good thing this happened so the policy can get changed.

Barb - posted on 12/21/2010

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It doesn't matter what the young man thinks or assumes. Policy and law is what matters and ignorance or not being aware of it isn't an excuse, unfortunately.

I feel really bad for this kid. And obviously the officer did as well because, like you said, he called for an ambulance instead of back up. He didn't want to hurt this kid, but his job, his policy, dictated what his procedures were to follow in this instance.

I guess i need to read another thread, i've never found your posts to be frazzled or confusing LOL, maybe a frazzled mind just understands frazzled writing?

*side note, it maybe a while before i get to post again. I am leaving in 10 min for the dr, my pancreas is acting up again and i'm afraid he's going to put me back in the hosp. If so, i'll see you all later, like in 15 to 30 days :) take care and Happy holidays

Tah - posted on 12/21/2010

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i didn't know this was common practice and i don't think that just refusing a ride that you may think is optional should mean being handcuffed, if the boy was being aggressive that is one thing, but i don't see how him saying he didn't want a ride calls for handcuffs for anyone, unless they are being combative or becoming agressive. i also agree there should be a number where they can check a child's status. I have also been in the back of a police car and i wasn't mad and raging, i was scared. The boy must have been showing signs of fear and anxiety because the officer had an ambulance meet him at the school, not back-up. I also want to say i saw the boy, he was actually on tv recounting the events and he is one of those lean guys..not a bear..lol..like taller, but slim looking,i am sure he has muscles, but i doubt the officer was scared of being tackled. For whatever reason it was brought to light, i am glad so now the system can be revamped, at least we agree on that. Now did i make myself clear, i am working on not coming off as frazzled or confusing.

Barb - posted on 12/21/2010

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"..white, black or indigo.." Tah Dula, being a nurse, you have to know that going blue isn't a good color on anyone but the dead LOL

That being said, i'm going to take a probably unpopular stance here and say i believe the officer should have handcuffed this poor young fellow. It was for his own protection and that of the officer as well. He was already protesting the ride, if he resisted the officer more he could have had actual charges brought against him for resisting detainment and been in more trouble.

I've done work in the boys detention center and something that really struck me is these "boys" are not all "boys" some of them are the size of full grown men. This 17 year old is a quarterback on the football team. The police officer does not know his past. He does not know if he is a good kid or a bad kid, leaving the school or going to it. Only that he is a large young man in the vicinity of the school during school operational hours.

It looks like the incident with the school is going to bring about changes.. yay! Sometimes things have to happen that are unpleasant in order to bring about good changes in the system. I hope this does bring about some positive changes and perhaps a phone line to the deans office to check on a students status. It shouldn't be hard.

This is being highlighted because this is a star athlete with an impeccable reputation. I'm wondering how many truants they have brought in this way that haven't gotten this much press.

I'm going to tell on myself here. In 1983/84 i was a 13/14 year old white girl going truant from my middle school. I was caught and hauled back in handcuffs. Anytime you are in the backseat, you are in handcuffs. Even if you are a 5'3", 100 lb ball of ass kicking fury.

Jess - posted on 12/21/2010

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I think thats a lot of assumptions though. Its not clear from the news report exactly what was said between the student and the officer. Its hard to judge without knowing the full story. I don't see why an apology wouldn't be enough and a review of the policy. What else can they do?

Tah - posted on 12/21/2010

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as Jaime pointed, out, maybe the boy thought he had the option to refuse, he wasn't a truant, he wasn't late, he was just walking and there early, so if the cop says, "hey let me give you a ride"..he may have thought it was optional..and it should have been for someone not doing anything wrong. They have admitted that their policy is to harsh. so why defend it, wrong is wrong. I think a protest is an extreme word. he declined what he thought was an optional offer and with that, the officer became aggressive, causing the boy to have an anxiety attack. can you imagine pulling up in the back of cop car, in handcuffs unable to breath thinking the walls are closing in on you and all you were doing were walking to school to fill out college applications?...it's a lack of communication and sensitivity and our children shouldn't suffer for it...

Jess - posted on 12/21/2010

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From the news report it says he didn't handcuff him until after the student refused to be driven to the school. So it appears the officer tried that approach. If the student started to protest than its natural for the office to handcuff him, its what they are trained to do after all. The thing that I noticed was the victims representative used the race card in a situation where to me it just didn't seem needed. The school has confirmed its the city's policy. I think its hard to judge if the officer over reacted without knowing exactly what was said and done between the student and officer.

Tah - posted on 12/21/2010

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actually, since i have been watching it on the local news, they have admitted that this is not the proper way to handle truants, so why not say, hey i need to take you, or stand here while i confirm since they could see the stadium, why does he need to be handcuffed and put in the car as if he just robbed a store?..white, black or indigo..who wants to be brought to school in a police car as if they did something wrong when they didn't?...i know i don't. There are stereotypes true, even if they don't want to admit it, but the councilman is the one that brought up the race card, the grandmother just filed a complaint with IA about it. which i think is appropriate.

Jess - posted on 12/21/2010

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The school has confirmed its the city's procedure to bring the students to school. And it sounds like the student was protesting. The officer has no idea if this a model student or a truant trying not to get caught.



I kind of got the idea that the family involved in this is trying to turn this into a race debate. Are they complaining because he was arrested or because he was black and arrested ?



The officer may have been too quick to act, but like I said the police have no idea if the student is telling the truth and they have to protect themselves if the student starts to protest. I think the people involved would get further with their complaint if they didn't pull the race card.



Editted to add, I think the police should be made more aware of flexible start times for school students. And an apology should be suffient

Tah - posted on 12/21/2010

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it doesn't say if the boy told the officer or not, but i can't see why he wouldn't. If a cop stopped me, or asked the right questions, like, why aren't you in school?..or aren't you late?..i would def. say no my classes don't start til 10...i do think that there was a lack of communication, but it seems like the officer probably just thought the boy was lying.

[deleted account]

Wow. The kid was on his way to school and they cuffed him for being truant? Wow. Well, I guess they had reason to consider him truant, since they didn't know his classes didn't start until later, but they could have asked or called the school or SOMETHING to make sure that hey, this kid doesn't start his first class until after 10am before they cuff the poor guy and throw him in the police car.

Ugh. I don't know that I'd say an apology was enough. I don't think it's right to handcuff a kid when they're not doing anything wrong. I think this situation is a perfect example of the cons of bad communication. The officer should have asked the boy why he was late and should have let him know he suspected him of truancy. The boy should have let the officer know that he was a football player whose classes didn't start til later. The officer should have gotten in touch with the principal or someone from the school who knew the student to back up his claims. And the officer certainly shouldn't have cuffed the boy for not accepting what he could have construed as a casual drive to the school.

Petra - posted on 12/21/2010

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WTF? Last time I checked, skipping school is not illegal. Even if you are suspected of doing something illegal, you have certain rights that MUST be respected before you can be arrested & cuffed & escorted anywhere. I would shit a brick if this was how truancy was handled in my son's school district. And this kid was merely suspected of truancy...

Nope, an apology would not be enough. Truancy is not a matter for the police to deal with, it is parental responsibility that can work in conjunction with schools. I would much rather cops be watching for speeders and potential drunk drivers in school zones than looking for kids who may or may not be "guilty" of truancy. Whatever the reason for a child's tardiness, cuffing them and escorting them to school is tantamount to arresting them, all without parental notification/consent and the right to legal representation, which are requirements when you are talking about the arrest and detention of a minor. Tardiness does not represent a harm to others, which is typically what makes an arrest necessary.

A gross violation of a minor's rights, and human rights altogether.

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