Child Restrained in School

The American Civil Liberties Union recently released footage of an 8-year-old student in Kenton County, Kentucky, shackled and crying in pain. In the video, the third-grader (named only “SR”), is restrained by a pair of handcuffs around his biceps, forcing his arms behind his back. The boy, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and a history of trauma. Children with disabilities receive corporal punishment at a disproportionate rate to their peers. Corporal punishment in public schools is still practiced in 19 U.S. states. In Kentucky, physical restraint is allowed if “the student’s behavior poses an imminent danger of physical harm to themselves or others.” In that same rule it also mentions that the use of handcuffs and restraints alike are prohibited. While 124 nations have criminalized physical punishment in public schools, the United States is way behind on this issue. Safe and healthy school environments where children can learn cannot be achieved through violence. When violence is used to punish children, it affects the entire school environment, creating fear and intimidation. How does this situation make you feel? The U.S. government should ban corporal punishment in all schools across the country.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ― Margaret Mead

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