That might not seem to be an unlikely situation, since even the most well behaved five or six year old can still have an occasional temper tantrum when they don't get their way.
You wouldn't expect kids at this age to have a tantrum that is so bad that they are climbing on furniture, destroying an office, throwing things and hitting a principal though, would you?
How about an out of control kindergartner who is taken out of school in handcuffs by police...
Could that really happen?
Is this story of a kindergartner in handcuffs real or an urban legend?
Unfortunately, this story is very real and involved a five year old kindergartner in Florida. It was even videotaped so that you can watch what she was doing in the kindergarten classroom, in the assistant principal's office, and as the police handcuff her.
There are so many things wrong with this story that it is hard to know where to start when discussing it.
Why did the police handcuff her?
By the time they got there and told her that 'you need to calm down,' she was already sitting quietly (likely in response to seeing the police approaching). And then the police officer says 'do you remember me? I'm the one who told your mom I'd put handcuffs on you.' I guess that means that something like this happened before. So were the police officers just following through on a previous threat of punishment or stated consequence to try and teach her a lesson? Do they even get any training to help them deal with these types of situations?
Of course, putting handcuffs on a small child hardly seems appropriate. What would happen if a parent chose to use this same method of discipline?
On the other hand, the child's behavior was definitely not appropriate, even as school officials used tried and true discipline techniques to try and get her to stop. Maybe they could have used a firmer voice and not talked quite so much, but it looked like even the Supernanny would have been a little frustrated in that classroom...
What else could they do? Hopefully they could call someone else for help besides the police, like the school district's child psychologist or even the school police, who hopefully have more experience handling young, out of control kids.
A copy of Dr. Robert MacKenzie's Setting Limits in the Classroom might have been helpful for the teachers dealing with this child, especially if her behavior is a chronic problem. Buying a copy of the version for parents - Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child - might be helpful for the child's mother too.
How would you feel if this were your child? Personally, I think that I would have been embarrassed and appalled that my child had acted that way. And instead of trying to sue someone, I would try and get some help for myself and my child so that she could be taught more appropriate ways to behave.
People who hear about the story seemed to be fairly evenly split on the issue, with many thinking she was acting like a spoiled brat and got what she deserved, while others think the school and police are to blame for a situation that got way out of control.