Controversy Arises: A Black 9 Year Old Child Handcuffed in Class, Family Demands Answers!

People want to know why a 9-year-old was handcuffed at a Walpole school. On Jan. 12, 2023, a boy was experiencing a mental health crisis. Instead of following his prescribed treatment plan, the staff called the school resource officer, who called the police for backup.

A civil rights group claims that a school in Massachusetts did not follow its own rules when a 9-year-old Black student with special needs was handcuffed by police at school. The student was then taken to a hospital and kept in an adult unit until his mother came to pick him up.

9 Year Old Child Handcuffed in Class
9 Year Old Child Handcuffed in Class

Lawyers for Civil Rights wrote a letter to Walpole public schools and the police department, requesting an apology for the family and evidence of restraint training for school resource officers when handling special-needs students.

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The family is looking into ways to make the school and police responsible for their actions. On Jan. 12, 2023, a boy was struggling with his mental health. Instead of using the treatment plan, the staff called the school resource officer, who then called the police for help.

The rule is that school resource officers can’t use police powers for regular school discipline problems, like non-violent disruptions. A document that outlines how police and schools can work together says that if there’s a safety problem, school staff can ask the resource officer for help.

The officer might try to calm things down and keep everyone safe. Lawyers for Civil Rights posted about the event, and Erika Richmond, an attorney with the group, explained that the incident shows how Black children are often treated as if they are older than they really are, which is a type of discrimination called “adultification.” The boy was said to be big and strong for his age.

Richmond said,

“Because of this bias, a situation that could easily have been de-escalated instead led to a young Black boy being handcuffed and held in adult custody.”

The student has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other needs and is also scared of the police, according to Richmond.

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The police surrounded him, and he was handcuffed while trying to leave the classroom. The kid went to a hospital to get checked by doctors. They found out he was okay and sent him home with his mom.

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