A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl was handcuffed, taken to a police station and charged with assault after apparently throwing a tantrum at school.
Salecia Johnson is accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing furniture at Creekside Elementary, Milledgeville, Georgia. She is also said to have knocked over a shelf that injured the principal, according to a police report.
When police arrived the girl was crying and when officers tried to calm her down she resisted, according to the local television news channel 13WMAZ.
Officers were apparently unable to contact the girl's mother and so handcuffed her and took her to a nearby police station where she was charged with simple assault and damage to property. Because of her age, she will not have to go to court and will not be sentenced, the station reported.
Asked about the incident the Milledgeville police chief defended the actions of his officers.
"Our policy is that any detainee unreported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back," said Dray Swicord. "There is no age discrimination on that rule."
The girl's father Earnest Johnson said: "A six-year-old in kindergarten. They don't have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child."
Her aunt, Candace Ruff, added: "She might have misbehaved, but I don't think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department.
"Call the police? Is that the first step? Or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child?"
Salecia's mother Constance Ruff said: "She has mood swings some days, which all of us have mood swings some days. I guess that was just one of her bad days." Miss Ruff says her daughter was suspended and cannot return to school until August.