Educators know children throw tantrums. Kicking, screaming, violent tantrums. However, few would ever dream of calling the cops to arrest a tantrum-throwing child — especially a 6-year-old kindergartner. But that’s exactly what a Shelbyville family is facing after their son was arrested recently on allegations of kicking a principal and threatening to kill administrators at Hendricks Elementary School.
School Principal Patrick Lumbley said this was a matter of doing what’s best for the student, who already had developed a pattern of aggressive behavior. “I know how this looks,” Lumbley said. “Our goal is, we want a successful adult one day. We hope we can get him on a path to success now, so when he’s a middle-schooler and teenager, he’s there.”
Others, however, questioned the wisdom of taking such drastic action with such a young child. According to police, on April 18, the boy kicked Lumbley, 41, and also threatened him and assistant principal Jessica Poe, 34. The boy had just returned to school after serving a suspension for biting and hitting a staff member, a Shelbyville police report said.
“We had reached a point where we were struggling with this particular child,” Lumbley said. “We had exhausted our resources here at the school as far as helping him.” Lumbley described the boy as typical in size and strength for a kindergartner — not strong enough to cause any serious harm to an adult. his kind of behavior is often associated with autism or other problems, but police and school officials declined to say whether this boy has been diagnosed with any medical or mental health problem.
“I think arresting a 6-year-old is crossing the line,” said Dana Renay, director of the Autism Society of Indiana. “There are many other things the school could have done before they called police.” If the boy hasn’t already been diagnosed with a problem, Renay said it’s vital to get him checked out by doctors. Children with autism and other special needs have a special individual education plan that spells out how teachers will deal with outbursts and tantrums.
Renay said there are organizations in Indiana, including hers, where families can receive free services for children with special needs. But children must first be diagnosed with a problem. “Kids have behaviors and behaviors need to be addressed,” Renay said. “Calling the police is not how you address a behavior where a young, young child is acting out.”
SMH. What would you do in this situation if this was your child??More On Bossip!