Sunday, January 27, 2008

Talk about overkill

5-year-old boy handcuffed in school, taken to hospital for misbehaving:

A 5-year-old boy was handcuffed and hauled off to a psych ward for misbehaving in kindergarten - but the tot's parents say NYPD school safety agents are the ones who need their heads examined.

"He's 5 years old. He was scared to death," Dennis Rivera's mother, Jasmina Vasquez, told the Daily News. "You cannot imagine what it's done to him."

Dennis - who suffers from speech problems, asthma and attention deficit disorder - never went back to class at Public School 81 in Queens after the traumatic incident.

His mom and a school source said Dennis threw a tantrum inside the Ridgewood school at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17.

Dennis was taken to the principal's office, where he apparently knocked items off a desk.

Rather than calling the boy's parents, a school safety agent cuffed the boy's small hands behind his back using metal restraints, the school source said.

The agent and school officials then called an ambulance to take the tot to Elmhurst Hospital Center for a mental evaluation.

[snip]

When baby-sitter Sandy Ortiz arrived, Dennis was still handcuffed, she said. School safety agents also were holding his elbows even though the boy was calm, Ortiz said. Dennis is about 4-feet-3 and weighs 68 pounds.

"I hugged him. I said, 'OK, release the cuffs, I'm taking him,'" she recalled. "They told me, 'No, Miss. You're not taking him anywhere.'"

Ortiz routinely picks up Dennis from class. She said she's never seen him behave in a way that would require him to be restrained.

Whatever disturbance a kindergartener might cause, handcuffing the kid and hauling him off to a psych ward is ridiculous. The Road to Abu Ghraib, indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment