School District Sued After Officer Handcuffed 7-Year-Old Hearing-Impaired Child
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the Kansas City Public Schools, after a seven-year-old was handcuffed in school by a police officer.
Two years ago was when the incident occurred. An officer happened to be walking across a classroom Kaylb Wiley Primm was in, where the then second grader was crying and disrupting other students because he was being bullied for being hearing impaired.
When Kaylb continued to cry and yell in the hallway, against the officer’s requests, the officer put the child in handcuffs and brought him to the main office, where he sat until a parent arrived. At the time, he stood less than 4 feet tall and weighed less than 50 pounds.
In the aftermath of the arrest Kaylb's mother Tomesha Primm took him out of the school for fear of his safety, and homeschooled him for the following two years. She said he started having nightmares and wetting the bed.
"Our children need trained and concerned figures in schools that know how to intervene. It's not okay to abuse your authority and handcuff kids as a means of discipline," Tomesha said in a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "As a parent, I want to make sure no other child – in Kansas City or anywhere else in the country – experiences what my son did."
The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of the Primm family. Named within it is not only the Kansas City Public Schools, but the principal and police officer.
"This child committed no crime, threatened no one, and posed no danger to anyone," Tony Rothert, ACLU's Missouri Legal Director, said. "Gratuitously handcuffing children is cowardly and violates the constitution."
According to the police officer's account, the child had been "out of control in his classroom and refused to follow my directions."
Regardless, the incident also violated state policy, which says that the use of restraints for elementary and secondary students should be used only in extreme circumstances or emergencies.
Read the full complaint here.