Pepper spray for an 8 year old?

Krista - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

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Police in Lakewood, Colo. are defending their decision to pepper spray an 8-year-old boy at his elementary school to curtail his out-of-control behavior.

The incident occurred at Aidan Elliott’s school, where he is in a class for students with behavioral problems. Police say that a few days ago, Aidan had a violent outburst that put other students and teachers at risk.

“I kind of blowed up a little,” he says.

Police say that Aidan cursed at teachers and police officers, spat at them, threw chairs and even wielded a piece of wood as a knife, threatening to kill them.

“He told the teachers…if they came out, they were going to die,” Steve Davis of the Lakewood Police Department said.

Officers decided that pepper spraying Aiden to stop the outburst.

“It was a situation that had to be diffused and it had to be done very quickly,” Davis said.

His mother says police went too far.

“I think it was excessive,” Mandy Elliott, Aiden’s mother, said. “He’s never hurt anyone in the past.”

Aiden is not in class at this time, but school officials say he’s welcome back when his anger is under control.

“I hope that he is getting the services he needs so he is able to return,” Peg Kastberg of Jefferson County Public Schools said.

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What do you think? Were the police justified in using pepper spray on this child?

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Rosie - posted on 04/09/2011

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i think they were extreme, but really if they would've used physical force the mom would've bitched still. and an officer mightof gotten hurt, he did have a weapon. idk, the mom is in denial though.

Jodi - posted on 04/07/2011

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You do know, right, that pepper spray is not safe and has been linked to a number of deaths and many injuries? I can't believe that an 8 year old has done something SO bad and is SO out of control that pepper spray, a dangerous substance, was needed. I am extremely uncomfortable with anyone using this substance on a child. Personally, if it were my child, I would prefer they physically restrain him.

Amy - posted on 04/06/2011

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I think they probably did it because if they were too forceful/physical the kid probably could have sued them for abuse or something. I would guess they chose that as a less invasive way to stop it. Can't say for sure without more details of how it happened. Obviously something needed done. Not as if it was some kid who just politely defied authority by saying "no".

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Tinker1987 - posted on 04/11/2011

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this kid needs some serious medical help. what happens when he hit his teenage years and he becomes much more stronger and has more knowledge too violence. its kids like this that go on rampages and has school shootings. i would not welcome that child in any school until he has the help he needs. and i agree with other posts that mother in denial. i have mixed feelings about the pepper spray. On one hand these grown officers should have been able to control the kid or at least drag him out kicking and screaming...but on the other hand.if they have been there a few times to control this kid maybe pepper spray would have taught him more of a lesson...

Jenn - posted on 04/08/2011

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That is ridiculous, that shit burns like a MOFO (don't ask how I know this:P), honestly, how hard can it be for a bunch of trained police officers to overpower an eight year old boy! It is odd though that ihis mother says he has never hurt anyone in the past, while he may not have hurt anyone, i doubt this is the first time he has shown this type of behavior, i think mommy may be in denial..

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“I think it was excessive,” Mandy Elliott, Aiden’s mother, said. “He’s never hurt anyone in the past.”

To this I say; There is a first time for everything lady and I would rather the pepper spray your kid than your kid to hurt someone.

Aiden is not in class at this time, but school officials say he’s welcome back when his anger is under control.

Thank god! He obviously needs help if his anger was that out of control that adults couldn't control him or get him to calm down. Teachers, and police are professionals and they have years of training. They don't just let things get to this point by doing nothing.

Bonnie - posted on 04/08/2011

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I think the police were doing what they needed to do in order to stop the boy from doing something drastic. It is not normal for an 8 year old (or anyone for that matter) to have behaviour like this. They would have done the same thing to a 30 year old.

Pia - posted on 04/07/2011

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Ahh Colo is an abbreviation...how awkward for me lol!!

I haven't watched the today show segment yet, but from what you are all saying about it, then yeah, I understand why the police used pepper spray.
Things like this make me want to home school my kids and rethink my career choice...

Pia - posted on 04/07/2011

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Ahh Colo is an abbreviation...how awkward for me lol!!

I haven't watched the today show segment yet, but from what you are all saying about it, then yeah, I understand why the police used pepper spray.
Things like this make me want to home school my kids and rethink my career choice...

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2011

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Seems excessive to me, I mean he's 8 for god's sake! Couldn't the policemen have restrained him some other way?!

It's not like he had an actual knife, it was a piece of wood.

I think that there must have been a better way to handle the situation, what are going to next time? Shoot him?

April - posted on 04/07/2011

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True Jodi, i was thinking the same thing when i first read it but than again who's to say that the little boy wouldn't of stabbed anyone who got near him. The very fact he wasn't afraid about seeing the police is terrible. I really do hope that he gets some help before he seriously hurts somebody or himself. It's a bad situation to be in and no ones really right on this one, that one things for sure.

Tracey - posted on 04/07/2011

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If the police had been called before why was no action taken after previous incidents?
If they let him back after this incident what is going to happen next time, is the school going to wait until he puts himself or others in hospital?
This kid needs help, social services or medical, because this isn't normal behaviour for an 8 year old

April - posted on 04/06/2011

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I can't think of any other way they could of diffused the situation. He was threatening people, he had a weapon. I think they did the right thing. He could of seriously injured someone and plus the police could of did a lot worse. He deserved what he got IMO.

How the hell did he get to that point anyway? Where's the discipline??

Stifler's - posted on 04/06/2011

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Oh dear God. I think Amy Kruse is onto something, the mother would have had a hissy fit about police brutality if the cops had restrained the kid physically. He's 8,.. if he doesn't have healthy fear of the cops then pepper spray was probably the best option. They do NOT just do those things willy nilly for fun, there's usually a good reason for it.

Lacye - posted on 04/06/2011

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To Pia: Colorado is in the United States. The school district that the child goes to in the past had a really bad school shooting in the high school where 15 people were killed. They didn't say anything about the other students but the little boy admits that he wanted to hurt the teachers and that he threatened to kill them. Also, the boy had the cops called on him twice before this incident because of his anger outbursts.

Lacye - posted on 04/06/2011

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Note to the mother: If your child says "I kinda deserved it" then guess what, HE DESERVED IT! He knew what he was doing was wrong! If he had been my kid, I would be happy that the police didn't taze his little nappy butt! I mean really. To tell teachers that he is going to kill them, throwing things at them. Hell no! And the mother is sitting there saying, well they should have talked him down. No! The teachers had tried that and they were chased into another room! He knows better than to do the shit he did so I seriously doubt there is any kind of handicap that will excuse him. He's just a bad ass kid.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/06/2011

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You know what I think the absolute most devistating part of this story is...the fact that the mother and father of this eight year old have allowed him to reach a point where police intervention is needed. Discipline the kid for god sakes..BEFORE you send him into the world.

No disability was mentioned..no diagnosis..so I can only assume he has no discipline.

Dana - posted on 04/06/2011

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I watched this on The Today show this morning, here's the segment and interview with the little boy and his mother.



http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42449949/n...





Personally before I watched it, I thought it might be extreme. After hearing that it's the third time police have come to the school for this particular child's outbursts, and the interview with the boy and mother, I'm thinking the police were not out of line.

Pia - posted on 04/06/2011

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Not enough information. Were there other kids in danger? Like real danger not just in danger because they were in the same vicinity. What caused the outburst? Did they try methods to subdue him? Etc etc.
From the information in the article I would say that pepper spray is excessive...I'm assuming police had protective gear, why couldn't they have restrained him?
I don't know about America (Colo is in America?) but in Australia a child cannot be expelled from a public school, which in some circumstances I think is wrong. A school I did my teaching prac had to go into lockdown because a child was holding a class hostage with a golf club and actually put a teacher on hospital. He should have been expelled...
But this kid, who knows? Without more information we can't possibly know the proper situation and can't possibly make a full judgement.

Jessica - posted on 04/06/2011

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I don't think its the worst thing in the world, because they obviously needed to immobilize him asap before he hurt anyone. But I'm having a hard time believing that grown men couldn't take an 8 year old kid with a stick. I worked in a psychiatric hospital with often violent patients (I'm sure an 8 year old doesn't have anything on a 300 lb paranoid schizophrenic who has been off his meds for a while) and they train you to be able to restrain patients like that, so it is possible to be able to restrain someone in a violent rage. We certainly didn't go around pepper spraying patients, lol.

As for the school taking him back, I don't think they should. But what bothers me about the article as the make it seem like some mega-brat having a tantrum. That is not the case here- no normal 8 year old acts like that, even really bratty ones. When a kid (or an adult for that matter) acts like that it means there is a lot more going on and he needs HELP. He clearly has psychological issues that need dealt with and the parents need in on it too.

Michele - posted on 04/06/2011

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Mmmm, since my son was forced to leave school because of a bully that no-one could calm or reason with, I think the police did the right thing, but maybe their actions should be discussed for any future incidents, there must be a better way than pepper spray. Why wasn't the mum called in to stop him? Or to get him? I'm sure the police could've kept everyone safe until she arrived. He's young! And I'm assuming small!
I'm glad the school won't take him back until he gets his anger sorted, about time the bullying children were excluded!

Michele - posted on 04/06/2011

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Mmmm, since my son was forced to leave school because of a bully that no-one could calm or reason with, I think the police did the right thing, but maybe their actions should be discussed for any future incidents, there must be a better way than pepper spray. Why wasn't the mum called in to stop him? Or to get him? I'm sure the police could've kept everyone safe until she arrived. He's young! And I'm assuming small!
I'm glad the school won't take him back until he gets his anger sorted, about time the bullying children were excluded!

Pamela - posted on 04/06/2011

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I have to agree Tracey, I think kids are getting away with too much these days. Someone had to do something to protect the other students and staff.

Tracey - posted on 04/06/2011

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The child was wielding a weapon and making threats to kill others, if the police were called the school staff obviously could not control him and thought he was serious, the police had to neutralise the situation ASAP so did what they thought was necessary. Don't know if pepper spray is the right answer but something needed doing, I'm more on the police's side than the Mum's side.

If I were the school I wouldn't take him back. I have had pupils use compasses and pencil sharpener blades as stabbing weapons and have seen an out of control child ( age 11) trapped in a corridor with teachers holding on to doors at both ends to isolate him and try to make him calm down.

How does Mummy suggest they dealt with the situation, or is he still her little angel?

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