Increasingly, precincts have become de facto detention centers. In Albuquerque alone 90,000 students, were arrested
between 2009-2010. In Texas, an estimated 300,000
kids were give misdemeanors in 2010. That number includes children as young as 6.
“You’ve gradually seen this morphing from schools taking care of their own environments to the police and security personnel, and all of a sudden it just became more and more that we were relying on law enforcement to control everyday behavior,” Austin-based juvenile court judge Jeanne Meurer told The Guardian
in an investigative report on the policing of children in America. The British newspaper’s in-depth article was published in January, four months before a Georgia 6-year-old was carted out of her kindergarten classroom in handcuffs
after allegedly throwing a caustic tantrum.
Handcuffs, really? “There is no age discrimination on that rule,” a Georgia police chief told local news
. The child’s parents have started a petition
in an effort to change that.
Over the past year, kids under the age of 13 have been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for giving wedgies
, having a food fight and spraying perfume. In more serious circumstances, children are facing real prison time over hockey game fouls
and threatening classroom notes. One 6-year-old was accused of sexual assault
by school officials during a recess game of tag. In order to have the sexual battery charge wiped from his school record, the child’s parents had to hire a lawyer to prove that the charges had no legal basis.