8 Year Old Child Taken To Jail for a Tantrum; Failed By School and Police

jmyha-rickman-alton-illinois

Police don’t just abuse their power against adults nor do they stop at teenagers. As 8 year old Jmyha Rickman found out while at her Elementary school in Alton, Ill.

Like many children, school records state she has a history of throwing tantrums in school. But instead of the teachers, the people who are supposed to be trained to deal with children, handling it and noticing she needs attention and help, they called the police in to deal with this child.  I would like to note, I do not know where her parents are but I do know she has a guardian whom takes care of her, which suggests she probably has some emotional issues. Speaking from childhood experience, ‘throwing a tantrum’ at school was my way of asking for help as a child. She very well may be the same; but regardless…she is 8. Why would anyone need to call the police on an 8 year old little girl!? After the cops arrived at the school,
they arrested (put her in handcuffs) her, placed in her the back of the squad car and drove her to the jail where she would remain for two hours. To me it sounds like she has behavioral issues; calling the police and hurting her young, child mind and soul even more, will not be of benefit to her…not now or in the long run.

But it gets even more saddening. The little girl’s guardian has stated she was treated with excessive force, noting the young child had welts on her arm as well as swollen eyes from sobbing alone for hours while no one there consoled her. Whether the young girl has emotional and/or behavioral issues due to her personal life or whether she simply was throwing a tantrum for whatever reason, as children do…the teachers and school officials should have handled it, should notice she needs help and attention, not to have the police called on her as if she were some kind of freakish threat to society.

“As a last resort we sometime have to involve law enforcement”  the assistant superintendent said. “They take the student into protective custody when the parent refuses to pick up the child.”

So a child is punished for being in need of some behavioral help and/or possibly having emotional issues due to whatever is going on at home….???

When I was in school, at 8 you would have been put in an isolated room where you could hurt no one- not even yourself- until someone could pick you up OR you would go to the school counselor. Not to mention, all parents/guardians do not  have transportation, not all can get off of work.

But if they can and simply flat out refuse to help the child, that isn’t the child’s fault! In fact, that should be a red flag of why the poor kid is acting out!

I am not sure who I am more disgusted with here. The school for failing the little girl or the police for failing her. This isn’t the only case of schools calling police on young children, in some cases children have been tasered, some younger ages than her, one in particular was a 6 year old boy trying to cut himself. For that he was tasered. In most cases the children are, like adults, non-white OR white and poor. The abused, the forgotten.

Society should be standing up and in an outrage over police abusing their power, but also at the failure of our teachers and school systems. This should be front page news; not how many pounds some famous, rich girl lost. (That was actually front page on yahoo news either today or yesterday.)

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