About a week ago, a kindergartner threw a tantrum while she was at school. This was not a typical, age appropriate, tantrum. The school ended up calling the police, and now, the six year old has an arrest record. Her parents have started a petition to remove any record of the girl’s arrest, and to end the use of police in school discipline.
This story started at an elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia. A six year old kindergarten student had a tantrum. It isn’t unheard of for young children to throw a tantrum every once in a while. The thing is, this was no ordinary tantrum.
The school decided to call the police. The officer who arrived made a police report. He said he “noticed damage to school property and possible assault of other students and staff”. The Principal told the police “a small shelf struck her in the leg while the girl was throwing items at her”. The police report also said that the girl “tried several times to get out of the office. She was observed biting the door knob of the office and jumping on the paper shredder and attempted to break a glass frame above the shredder.”
The officer tried to calm the girl down, but his efforts did not work. The kindergartner was charged with assault and damage to property, was handcuffed, and was taken away in a police car. The police attempted to call the kindergartener’s mother, but she did not answer the phone. The school suspended the girl through the end of the school year.
There is now a petition at change.org that was created by Constance Ruff with Advancement Project. The information on the petition describes how the six year old has been traumatized by the experience.
The main purpose of the petition appears to be to ensure that the incident does not become any more of a setback for the child. The wording on the petition says that the kindergartener can return to her school after a week. The charges against the girl have been dropped, but, a record of her arrest still exists.
They want the police officials to remove any record of the girl’s arrest. They also want to end the use of police in school discipline. The petition will be sent to the Milledgeville Mayor, City Council, School Board, Georgia Department of Education, to several people on the Baldwin County School Board, the Baldwin County School Superintendent, and the Principal of the elementary school. At the time I am writing this blog, the petition has 186,157 signatures. Their goal is to get 200,000 signatures.
Image by League of Women Voters of California on Flickr