First off, let me say that here at NYC Talking, we love children. This post is not an advertising campaign for children to be arrested or treated badly by law enforcement or anyone else.
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Now that we have all those formalities out of the way, here is what allegedly happened:
The police were phoned in to Creekside Elementary School in Milledgeville, Georgia because there was a child behaving unruly and destroying public school property. Here is what Salecia Johnson was said to be doing:
– attempting to break a large glass item, endangering not only herself, but staff and other students
– knocked over a book shelf, which could have also injured her or another child. Apparently the bookshelf injured the principal
– throwing items
– trashing about on the floor and screaming
– biting a door knob
– refusing to listen to staff, teachers and administrators alike
– resisting when an officer asked her to calm down and fighting with him
These events ultimately lead to the child being put in handcuffs and taken away to adult jail to be held until someone could pick her up. Administrators and police said they could not track down Salecia’s parents or a guardian from the school, eventually an aunt was located who came to pick her up from jail.
Members of the community are outraged by this arrest. During a time when racial tensions are high due to the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin trials, which ironically involve the lack of an arrest, a young black girl, a 6 year old black girl being arrested doesn’t sit well with the masses.
Here is a quote I found interesting made by Salecia’s mother:
“Well, you know, kids have mood swings. Just like adults and other kids, they have good days, and they have bad days”.
WHAT? Just wait a minute here! Getting a c on an exam is a bad day! Being told to quiet down during class is a bad day! But having a police officer reach the point where they feel they have to handcuff you, for your own safety, as well as everyone else’s? That in my opinion is well beyond a bad day!
Overall public opinion on the matter is mixed. Understandably a good deal of folks are appalled by this. Some cannot understand how things reached the point where the police had to be called, and others are playing the race card. “This would never happen to a white girl”. On many forums, I have received quite a bit of flack over defending the principal’s decision to escalate.
Many express horror at a 6 year old being put in handcuffs, they say the child’s life is ruined now. The child’s mom stated that Salecia was traumatized by the experience and that she is having trouble sleeping. “It hurted, they jerked my hands back real fast” Salecia is quoted as saying.
Not everyone is siding with the child, others stand by the principal’s decision to call the police. Supporters cite the first item I thought about when I read this story “What do you think would have happened if the principal tried to physically remove the child from the glass she was trying to smash? Do you think the parent would say ‘Hey, she was trying to keep my daughter from getting sliced up, thank you’. Hell no! They would of said ‘You had no right to touch my child, I’m suing the school’! You and I know it! That’s exactly what would have happened!” Oh, and in case you forgot, Salecia is black, I’m not sure what race the principal is, but let’s make her white, and have her touch the kid! WHAT! It was because she is black! RACISM!
On a few sites, from comments alone I have already seen/received a few messages to that effect, “the police arrested her because she’s black”. I have been insulted and threatened, because I’m supporting the principal’s choice. Really?
Well, if thats the case, the racist are really dialing it in now, getting them started really young, with no boundaries?
Here is what I think is the situation, couldn’t it be the fact she could HAVE KILLLED HERSELF or severely injured herself and others kids and staff in the process of her tantrum and destruction of public property? What is she broke that glass and injured your child?
You have the mental health advocates saying that there are ways to deal with mentally challenged children. Assuming something is wrong with her in the psychological aspect. Perhaps, but if this child has issues that are so severe, she probably should be in a place where the staff is better prepared to deal with this type of unruly behavior. A place with no sharp objects, no glass, etc. Teachers are there to teach, not to perform or diagnose psychiatric treatment.
Look, I’m a father, I’m not heartless. I know this is a child, but like someone said in a comment I read: “this couldn’t have been the first incident, and if that’s the case, I’m sure the parents knew about the problems”. My own son, who is well behaved as it is, would be terrified if a cop was called on his behalf, let alone his parents. This kid wasn’t phased. What does that say to you?
Salecia had been expelled after the incident, but she was later invited back to the school. However her parents have since then transferred her out of the school in question. The police dropped about 3 charges against Salecia due to her young age.