Handcuffed or Spanked?

The obvious answer is “neither.” Who wants their child, at any age, handcuffed by police — let alone at age 6? Sorry if I misled you with the title; you don’t have the option between spanking and handcuffs. Children are not being spanked in school and obviously not at home. That would be just wrong, right?

Handcuffed for bad behavior? Yeah, that’s happening today.

As the wife of a retired police officer, I have some very strong opinions about the role of the police. This, however, is an entirely different matter. A police officer in an elementary school is not the same as an officer on the street. This isn’t about police. It’s about developmental behavior, abdicating responsibility, and the natural consequences of cultural Marxism.

It’s a given that one or two instances doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s commonplace, although it is an issue that is occurring more often than most of us realize. I defy you to find one story of this happening even in the turbulent years of the ’60s and ’70s.

Believe me, it would have made the news. But back then we had segregated classrooms–average children were in one room, obnoxious kids in the hallway, and autism was one in 2000 students. Most schools never saw one autistic child.

There’s a lot of blame to go around here, so I’m going to narrow it down to a cultural issue that parents need to recognize embedded in how we view the family.

Before I explain that statement, let’s take a look at a couple cases at hand.

handcuffed child

Recently, the parents of a 6-year-old special needs student in Stone Mountain, GA, received a call from the school requesting that he be picked up early. He wasn’t “having a good day” is how the school described it. When his parents arrived, the couple found their little boy on his knees, on the floor, with his hands cuffed behind his back. At the time of the news interview, he still bore the bruises circling his wrists from the cuffs.

This school is way behind the times. According to CNN, Jackson, Mississippi, stopped handcuffing their special needs students to poles and shackling them to chairs way back in 2012. Before you give them too much credit, I should tell you they didn’t exactly see the light through the parents’ eyes; they were enlightened by a lawsuit.

This elementary school, however, is standing its ground and released this statement:

A 6-year-old student at Pine Ridge Elementary School was acting in a disruptive manner and being self-destructive during school today. He ran out of school onto a busy, public street and was pursued by three school staff members. The student was secured and returned to the school and placed in a room with a special education teacher, the school counselor and the School Resource Officer (SRO) to protect him from doing harm to himself.

After several unsuccessful attempts, his parents were contacted and asked to come immediately to the school. For approximately one hour, the student was scratching, kicking and hitting school personnel and continued to exhibit violent behavior, running into walls, banging his head on tables and placing his health at risk.

At this point, the SRO placed handcuffs on the student to protect him from harming himself. When the parents arrived, they were told the student was handcuffed for his personal safety.

That’s why God made adults bigger than children, so you don’t need handcuffs to subdue them.


In 2012, a police department in Georgia defended their decision to handcuff and arrest a 6-year-old little girl for throwing a tantrum. Once again, the school stood fearlessly behind the see-through curtain of ” it’s for their safety…”

The officer was called to a grizzly crime scene where the kindergardener threw furniture and ripped a shelf off the wall. It’s not clear in the reports what made the girl bite the doorknob, jump on the paper shredder or take a swing at the principal. Police took her from school in cuffs, with the intention of charging her with damage to school property and simple assault. They backed off that one later, perhaps while preparing for the press conference.

The good news is that she wasn’t thrown in the slammer with the friendly neighborhood pedophile or anything like that. The police removed the cuffs and took her into the meeting room, where the police drank their coffee. No mention of donuts.

However, the school suspended her for the rest of the year. Which probably means this kid with problems is going to have a whole new set next year. And of course social services won a free ticket for an exploratory trip through every area of her family’s life.

During the 1960s, American parents underwent an identity change. Entering the decade, parents understood that children developed through stages. Their primary goal was to take a completely needy, self-centered little creature and acclimate him into family life through developing character and self-control. It was understood that the child’s nature was to do the opposite. He needed adult help to grow into the best version of himself.

Exiting the decade, parental authority was no longer esteemed; in fact, it was demonized. The new parenting paradigm now viewed children as inherently good and the family unit as a petri dish of societal ills. Plumping up a child’s self-esteem replaced character training. Entitlement supplanted self-control. Good mothers were no longer defined by the behavior of their young children. Instead, they became defined by their ability to provide for the tot’s every whim.

Ironically, the parenting and teaching techniques that focused on giving children high self-esteem and healthy psychological development have given us an unprecedented epidemic of children with special needs.


The following is a typical list of behaviors teachers, and now police, are dealing with in elementary schools:

* Easily distracted
* Intrusive
* Belligerently defiant
* Easily frustrated
* Loses temper easily
* Denies responsibility for wrongdoing
* Oppositional
* Aggressive reactions to frustration
* Attention-seeking
* Rages and explosive tantrums

“The above list describes a pathological antisocial condition traditionally known as ‘the terrible twos.’ In fact, nearly every child ever born has and does exhibit many, if not all of those ‘symptoms’ during his or her toddlerhood.” — John K. Rosemond

When these behaviors arise in the early years, they must be “nipped in the bud,” preferably by a loving parent.

The little girl throwing a tantrum and the boy that ran out in the busy public street were both displaying symptoms of typical two-year-old behavior. That behavior must be met in the toddler stage with swift, decisive discipline designed to teach self-control as well as cause and effect.

Otherwise you end up with three adults running out into a busy street after a 6 year old. When the lessons of childhood are no longer about personal responsibly and character, they morph into victimhood and subjugation.


Photo credit: Shutterstock, PressmasterTom Gowanlock,