School Climate & Safety

Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky Pays $337,000 Settlement in Student-Restraint Lawsuit

By Christina A. Samuels — November 02, 2018 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Kenton County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 1 settled a three-year-old lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, after a school resource officer cuffed two elementary school students at the biceps after being called in to calm them during an emotional outburst.

The students were ages 8 and 9 at the time of the incidents, which took place in 2014. After the incidents drew public attention, Sheriff Charles Korzenborn, who supervised the school resource officer program, said that he “steadfastly” backed the deputy involved in the incidents, Kevin Sumner. In a deposition, Korzenborn said that he never asked Sumner how often he handcuffed other children, that he “was not interested in knowing how often his deputies handcuff school children,” and that cuffing children above the elbow is an acceptable practice.

However, in October 2017, a judge ruled that the cuffing constituted an excessive use of force.

The ACLU released videos of one handcuffing incident, which involved an 8-year-old 3rd grader, identified in the lawsuit as S.R. In the videos, Sumner can be seen standing on S.R.'s right after he places handcuffs on the child’s arms above the elbow. The videos were taken by a school staff member.

As S.R. squirms and cries, Sumner says “I asked you not to kick,” and “Now, you give me the behavior that you know you’re supposed to, or you suffer the consequences. It’s your decision to behave this way.” S.R. does not appear in the videos to attempt to leave his chair. The lawsuit says he was handcuffed for 15 minutes.

S.R. has post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the lawsuit said, but at the time of the incident was not receiving special education services.

L.G., the second child involved in the case, was a 9-year-old 4th grader at the time of the incidents, and also has ADHD. She was receiving accommodations through a 504 plan. According to the lawsuit, Sumner used handcuffs on her twice. After the first incident, he called an ambulance to take her to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Both children suffered emotionally after the incidents, the ACLU said, and have since left the school district.

This incident is additional evidence of the harm that comes with having law enforcment officers in schools, according to an ACLU statement.

“There is no evidence that putting police officers in schools makes children any safer. What we do know is that 1.7 million children attend public schools that have cops but no counselors,” the statement said. “Three million students attend schools with law enforcement officers, but no nurses. And six million students attend schools with law enforcement officers, but no school psychologists. The brunt of these staffing choices falls most heavily and students with disabilities—especially students of color with disabilities.”


Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety What the Research Says A Hallmark of School Shooters: Long History of Social Rejection
New research finds that shooters in K-12 schools are more often "failed joiners" than loners.
5 min read
Butler County Sheriff Deputies stand on the scene at Madison Local Schools, in Madison Township in Butler County, Ohio, after a school shooting on Feb. 29, 2016.
Sheriff deputies were on the scene of a shooting at Madison Local Schools, in Butler County, Ohio, in 2016.
Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP
School Climate & Safety 4 Myths About Suspensions That Could Hurt Students Long Term
New longitudinal research shows that longer in- and out-of-school suspensions have severe consequences for students.
5 min read
Image of a student sitting at a desk in a school hallway.
Jupiterimages/Getty
School Climate & Safety Photos The Tense and Joyous Start to the 2021 School Year, in Photos
Students are headed back to school with the threat of the Delta variant looming. How is this playing out across the country? Take a look.
School Climate & Safety Former NRA President Promotes Gun Rights at Fake Graduation Set Up by Parkland Parents
A former NRA president invited to give a commencement address to a school that doesn’t exist was set up to make a point about gun violence.
Lisa J. Huriash, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
2 min read
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, speaks during the CPAC meeting in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2010.
David Keene, the former president of the NRA, promoted gun rights in a speech he thought was a rehearsal for a commencement address to graduating students in Las Vegas. The invitation to give the speech was a set up by Parkland parents whose son was killed in the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP