7-year old boy arrested, handcuffed to a pipe and interrogated for 10 hours after being falsely accused of stealing $5
WASHINGTON – Following Columbine, our country witnessed a national embrace of harsh zero-tolerance policies and a rush to place armed officers in schools across the country. In far too many schools, officers become heavily involved in the school discipline process, leading to the rise of extreme school disciplinary measures, including arresting and locking up students. Just recently we learned of the harrowing story of a 7-year-old New York boy who was arrested, handcuffed to a metal pipe and interrogated for 10 horrifying hours for allegedly stealing $5.
“There is no moral, logical or rational explanation for such a drastic approach,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “An exaggerated response such as this one wreaks havoc on a child’s mental and emotional well-being, and leads to children being pushed into the criminal justice system and out of school.”
Unfortunately, the situation in New York is not an isolated occurrence. The State of Florida leads the nation with the highest documented number of school-related arrests. Roughly 13,870 Florida students were arrested and referred to law enforcement during the 2011-2012 school-year alone.
“If we do not think carefully about placing more police in schools, we’ll needlessly lose a generation of children; not to drugs or crime but to a school discipline system that is set up to guarantee their demise,” Browne Dianis concluded.