Lakaisha Reid (pictured) is fit to be tied. The mom of six-year-old Patrick (pictured) is upset that her special needs child was allegedly handcuffed by a special resource officer at his Stone Mountain, Georgia elementary school for misbehaving. The handcuffs were so tight they left visible bruises on the boy’s wrists according to photos from local TV station WXIA.
Psychological studies have shown that black children are seen as older, less-childlike and less innocent than their white peers. On a whole, they therefore face harsher consequences from authorities and those in authority.
Reid and her husband received a phone call from a school administrator that they needed to come into their son’s school to discuss his behavior. When the couple arrived at the Pine Ridge Elementary School, they were escorted to his classroom and before they even reached their destination, they could hear Patrick’s cries. “I hear my son yelling. He’s screaming,” Reid told WXIA.
When the pair finally get to see their son, they immediately zeroed in on the bruises on his wrists where the alleged metal handcuffs had been placed. When WXIA spoke to Patrick, the child told them, “It hurts when I touch it right there,” pointing to his wrists.
Reid is angry that her son had been subjected to such a Neanderthal method of punishment telling WXIA, “He just ran away from school. It does not require handcuffs for this. He’s a special-needs kid,” she said.
According to a statement released by the school regarding their selected method of punishment, the child’s actions warranted the handcuffs because he “was acting in a disruptive manner and being self-destructive during school.” The school’s statement also noted that the boy’s conduct included “violent behavior, running into walls, banging his head on table and placing his health at risk.” The officials at Pine Ridge defend their use of the handcuffs by insisting they were utilized for the child’s own “personal safety.”
Reid however, vehemently disagrees with the school’s punishment. “He’s a 6-year-old kid. I don’t think that was the appropriate way of dealing with that,” the mom contends.
Reid hopes that sharing her story will bring about change by way of appropriate training for those individuals who work with the special needs children in schools.