A Georgia mother said she was outraged when she learned that her 6-year-old son was placed in metal handcuffs at his elementary school recently for misbehaving.
Lakaisha Reid said the ordeal began when her husband received a phone call from an official at their son’s school, Pine Ridge Elementary, who then told the couple to come down to the campus, she told CNN-affiliate WXIA in Atlanta.
“We go into the school, a gentleman takes us back, I hear my son yelling. He’s screaming,” Reid said.
When they found their son Patrick, he had bruises as a result of the metal handcuffs that had been placed on his wrists, Reid told the local news station, showing pictures of the boy’s injuries.
“It hurts when I touch it right there,” Patrick told the TV station.
Reid was angry that the school cuffed her child.
“He just ran away from school. It does not require handcuffs for this. He’s a special-needs kid,” she said.
A school resource officer handcuffed Patrick because he “was acting in a disruptive manner and being self-destructive during school,” a statement from the school district read, according to WXIA.
His actions included “violent behavior, running into walls, banging his head on table and placing his health at risk,“ according to the statement, which added that the handcuffs were used for his own protection.
“He’s a 6-year-old kid,” Reid said. “I don’t think that was the appropriate way of dealing with that.”
Asked if there was any appropriate situation in which it would be OK to place handcuffs on a child, she responded, “If he was robbing a bank.”
Reid told the station she wanted to share her son’s story with the hope that it may lead to more training at the school.
“They need to have police officers that are trained for special need kids or for any kids that are that age,” she said. “That’s pretty young for handcuffs already, you understand? Anything can happen with those handcuffs on him.”
CNN contributed to this report.
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