PROVIDED BY CNNNEXT.COM
Two northern Kentucky women have sued the Kenton County sheriff and one of his school resource officers for placing their two
PROVIDED BY CNNNEXT.COM
Two northern Kentucky women have sued the Kenton County sheriff and one of his school resource officers for placing their two disabled elementary School children in handcuffs.
The handcuffs were too large to fit around the wrists of the 8-year-old boy and the 9-year-old girl, both of whom have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are identified in court documents only by their initials.
School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner put the handcuffs around the children's biceps, locking their arms behind them.
A video of one of the incidents shows the 8-year-old boy struggling and crying while sitting in a chair at Latonia Elementary School in the Covington Independent Public School district.
"You don't get to swing at me like that," Sumner told the boy, according to a video that was captured by a school administrator and uploaded to YouTube by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the women and their children.
"You can do what we've asked you to, or you can suffer the consequences."
A federal lawsuit filed in the eastern district of Kentucky says the boy - 3 feet 6 inches tall and 52 pounds - was removed from class last August because he was not following his Teacher's directions.
The boy then tried to leave the principal's office but was physically restrained by school administrators until Sumner arrived to escort the boy to the bathroom.
On the way back from the bathroom, the boy tried to hit Sumner with his elbow, according to a report from the Kenton County Sheriff's office cited in the lawsuit.
That's when Sumner put him in handcuffs.
The lawsuit asks for a Judge to ban the school from doing this again and for money to compensate for the pain and emotional trauma and for attorneys' fees.
Kentucky state regulations ban school officials from restraining students in a public school unless the "students' behavior poses an imminent danger of physical harm to self or others." There is an exception for "a device implemented by trained school personnel." But the regulations also ban officials from physically restraining students that they know have disabilities that could cause problems.
The lawsuit says officials at both schools were aware of the students disabilities, which including "impulsivity, and difficulty paying attention, complying with directives, controlling emotions and remaining seated."
"Shackling children is not okay.
It is traumatizing, and in this case it is also illegal," Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the ACLU, said in a news release.
"Using law enforcement to discipline students with disabilities only serves to Traumatize Children."