School Climate & Safety

Chicago Public Schools Sued for Alleged Handcuffing of First-Grader

By Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune (MCT) — August 31, 2011 1 min read

The attorney for a family suing Chicago Public Schools over the alleged handcuffing of a first-grader in 2010 said Tuesday the boy was among several 6- and 7-year-olds who were detained and handcuffed for hours for talking in class.

In an email to the Tribune, attorney Michael Carin said school officials at Carver Primary School on Chicago’s far South Side authorized the on-campus security guard in March 2010 to discipline some first-graders who were being disruptive.

Giving details not disclosed in the lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, Carin said the school’s security officer removed the students from class and held them in another office on campus where there were no other adults present. Carin said the students were handcuffed for hours and told that “they were going to prison and would never see their parents again.”

“There appears to be no reason for an officer to isolate 6- and 7-year-old children, place them in handcuffs and threaten them for hours during a school day, or any other day,” Carin wrote.

Carin said the Chicago Board of Education had ignored attempts to resolve this case outside the courtroom.

“Unfortunately, we had to file a lawsuit because the Chicago Board of Education ignored my client on the day of the imprisonment and every day thereafter,” Carin wrote. “We hope the Chicago Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility and resolves the matter quickly.”

In the complaint, the boy’s mother, LaShanda Smith, describes the guard’s action as “reckless” and said her son suffered injuries both “permanent” and “personal” during the incident. Smith, who is seeking more than $100,000 in damages, accuses the officer of acting “in conscious disregard” of her son’s safety.

CPS and the Board of Education are defendants in the case. Neither the security officer nor school administrators are named as defendants.

CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said again Tuesday that school officials have not yet seen the complaint and need to review it before commenting.

Calls to Carver Primary School were not returned.

Copyright (c) 2011, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Strategic Account Manager
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
President and CEO
Alexandria, Virginia
National Association of State Boards of Education
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Boy, 15, Injured in Arkansas School Shooting; Classmate Held
A 15-year-old boy shot and seriously injured a fellow student Monday morning at an Arkansas junior high school, authorities said.
1 min read
Traffic is lined up March 1, 2021 outside Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Ark. as parents pick up students after a shooting at the school.
Traffic is lined up March 1, 2021 outside Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Ark. as parents pick up students after a shooting at the school.
Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP
School Climate & Safety Interactive School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where
Education Week is tracking shootings in K-12 schools in 2021. See the number of incidents and where they occurred in our map and data table.
3 min read
Sign indicating school zone.
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety When Toxic Positivity Seeps Into Schools, Here's What Educators Can Do
Papering over legitimate, negative feelings with phrases like "look on the bright side" can be harmful for teachers and students.
6 min read
Image shows the Mr. Yuck emoji with his tongue out in response to bubbles of positive sayings all around him.
Gina Tomko/Education Week + Ingram Publishing/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion Teaching's 'New Normal'? There's Nothing Normal About the Constant Threat of Death
As the bizarre becomes ordinary, don't forget what's at stake for America's teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Justin Minkel.
4 min read
14Minkel IMG
Gremlin/E+