Friday 14 December 2018

Young boy led away from Florida school in handcuffs after 'punching teacher'

'I know that my kid made a mistake. This is completely insane,' says boy's father

Chris Baynes

A seven-year-old boy was led away from school in handcuffs after allegedly attacking a teacher.

The pupil was detained by police after reportedly punching a teacher who had told him to stop playing with his food.

Footage filmed by the boy’s mother shows a uniformed officer marching the handcuffed youngster away from a police car in Miami, Florida.

His father, Rolando Fuentes, called authorities’ response to the incident “completely insane”.

Miami-Dade Schools Police Department has launched a review but said the boy’s detainment was “done in accordance with standard operating procedures”.

The boy attacked a teacher after being told to stop playing with his breakfast cereal in the cafeteria of Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Centre, reported ABC’s Local 10 News.

According to a police report, the child punched the teacher on the back as they told a colleague about the incident.

The teacher tried to restrain the pupil but he continued to punch and kick them, causing them both to fall to the floor, the report added. While on the floor the boy is said to have grabbed the teacher’s hair.

After being restrained, the boy calmed down and was taken to the headteacher’s office. He was detained under state mental health law which allows the involuntary examination of a patient if authorities believe they are likely to cause serious bodily harm.

Mr Fuentes said he was expecting to drive his son to the hospital himself before a police officer arrived and asked to handcuff the boy.

He said: “I asked them two times, ‘Why do you have to take my kid away?’

“I asked them before putting [him] in the police car, ‘Let me ride with him or cuff me, but not my kid.’”

He added: “I know that my kid made a mistake. This is completely insane.”

Ian Moffett, chief of the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department, admitted it was “rare” for students so young to be detained but said “this action was warranted to prevent his erratic and violent behaviour from bringing further harm to others or himself”.

He added: “The manner in which he was transported to the receiving facility was done in accordance with standard operating procedures. Our Professional Compliance Unit is thoroughly reviewing this incident.”

The boy was taken to Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for evaluation.

His father said the seven-year-old had apologised and was traumatised by what happened.

“He don’t sleep,” Mr Fuentes said. “He’s nervous. He don’t realise what this is all about.”

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