I have mixed feelings about this, the handcuffing of a 5 year old girl who had a tantrum at school. My dad's a special ed teacher. His students are a few years older than this little girl but he's got kids trying this kind of stuff with him every day. He's a three hundred pound black man. Dad is in the unsavory position every day of protecting himself and his students from the violence of other students. The parents of his students aren't much better than their children when it comes to knowing how to act. Generally the first thing they do when their children act up is threaten the teacher, the school, and anybody else they can think of. Holding their children responsible for their actions generally doesn't cross their minds.
So what are teachers supposed to do when children are acting up and their hands have been tied by parents, the law, and fear of litigation? Pretty much anything they try will be construed as abuse by someone. In this case it seems to me that they passed this kid off to the police so they wouldn't have to take on the risk of dealing with her any longer than they had to.
I also have a son who is considered a special needs kid. He has melt downs too. They can be quite spectacular. But even in the midst of a melt down my son knows that some things just are not acceptable. One of the first things I asked his teacher before he started pre-school was how she dealt with students in melt down. I also visit his classroom on a regular basis. His teachers and therapists know my husband and I. More importantly they know my son. They know what sets him off and they know how to avoid his triggers. And in the event that my son's behaviour ever deteriorated such that he could not remain at school they also know that they can rely on my husband and I to be there when they need us to.
Should the police have handcuffed this child? I have no idea. But the deck was stacked against all involved. This whole mess was just a disaster looking for some place to happen.
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