Excessive Force? Feedback Friday

Well, blogger finally unlocked. I lost yesterday's post so I'll try to rewrite it. In the meantime, here is my planned Feedback Friday:

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This Colorado mother is upset over the way her 8 year old son was treated by the local police during an incident at his school.

Her son, a second grader who attends a school within the same district as the Columbine murders, flew into a violent rage toward his teachers last month. He threw chairs and a TV cart and ripped wood trim from the walls while threatening to kill his teachers who were hiding in a locked office. The teachers called the police.

When the police arrived, the student wielded a stick and continued to be verbally abusive. The police opted to give him two squirts of pepper spray to diffuse the situation.

This was the third violent episode that warranted police intervention with this student.

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you feel that the measures used by the police to diffuse the situation were excessive?

Does your feeling change if you imagine yourself as this 8 year old child's mother?

What about if you were the parent of a classmate?


  1. I lost mine, too. Happy Friday!

  2. Heartbreaking.
    I can tell you for sure that I wouldn't take my son on national TV to be some sort of freak show.

    I used to teach children in custody of the state. My class included rapists (as young as 12), drug dealers, gang members, and thieves. Things sometimes got physical. We were trained to "take down" students, but sometimes we'd get hurt or the student's would. I can't say this was excessive w/ out having been there. (That 8-year old looks like even I could take him.) Pepper spray is awful, but a temporary awful.

    On more trivial matters, I hoping my posts come back too.

  3. I don't think that was excessive at all and that is coming from a non-spanking/hitting parent. If that boy is that out of control I don't know what else could have stopped him, sometimes when my son has a tantrum I will hold him in a bear hug until he calms down - It is my understanding that teachers can't touch kids now days, and that boy was so out of control I think they did the right thing by calling the police and the police didn't have any other choice in my opinion - What else should they have done? Tackle him?? No.

  4. Makes me wonder if a paddle would straighten this child and his mother out?

  5. I agree with all of the aboves. As a teacher you are not able to touch children these days for fear of excessive force and/or sexual abusive type of retaliation. My one concern is the students locked themselves in an office...were other children left with this kid freaking out? That would be wrong too! My feeling is, on a first offense maybe he had an off day and hit his breaking point..we have all been there just maybe not so violently...but the 3rd time! Get that kid some help - QUICK! Seriously? In an area like Columbine you would think they have a zero tolerance approach to things like this.

  6. I don't think it was excessive. And, as the commenters before me said the teachers cannot lay a hand on the student. Honestly, the police came in and did their job. Hopefully they took the time to completely assess the situation and do what they felt needed to be done. If it was my son, I'm sure I would be looking for answers, but I would like to think that I would be able to see it from their perspective.

    However, the thing that really got to me during this clip was that this kid obviously has some real mental health and anger issues (as this was not the first incident). I mean he even says during the interview, "this is what dads do." ARE YOU KIDDING? What is this poor kid's home life like? Mom says that he sees a therapist and that no one can "find anything wrong with him." Now he has been removed from the school and is in a school for kids with behavior problems. Probably a step in the right direction as long as there is enough quality guidance, support and therapy at the new school and most importantly at home (where interestingly enough the behaviors don't occur ~ I could really go on to speculate about expectations and more here, but I won't).

    Geeze Jen, way to get me going on a lazy Friday afternoon!

  7. Oh, and blogger says they they are working to get all removed posts and comments back so don't work too hard getting yesterday's back... at least not yet :)

  8. Wow...I don't even know why this would make national news. I'm sure that pepper spraying an 8 year old was high on the list of what these officers wanted to do in their career. What about the mom? Seriously...you're kid was throwing chairs, ripped off a piece of wood trim and (as he said in the piece) wanted to make it sharp to hurt the teachers....UMMMM...What the Heck?!? At some point America needs to quit being victims and stand up and take responsibility for their kids' behavior! We have an autistic son and I would be MORTIFIED---and definitely wouldn't be going on tv! (what a punishment for him to be getting all of this attention and a trip to NY...why not send him to disney!!!!!!!)

    The schools first priority should be the safety of their students and faculty. If they tased him or something, yeah, that would be outrageous. Obviously they had to do something to be able to get near the kid before he hurt himself or someone else.

  9. totally unrelated...my posts magically reappeared so hopefully you didn't lose anything.

    On a related note...no, I don't think it was excessive force. I was a social worker for 8 years...the first 2 I worked at WA mental state hospital for children 4-17...we too were trained on how to "take down" a child and there was one 4 year-old that took 4 of us every time, to make sure that no one got hurt...and you should have heard the threats and things he was saying AFTER the destruction he had already caused (forcing the take down). My thought...better to use the pepper spray to get him to stop (that pain will go away) then risk more injury of the child or others. I saw too many injuries of staff trying to restrain a child "safely" then I cared to...I'm not saying pepper spray should be used in mental health facilities...but in this instance I think it was the right choice.

    And like the others...WHY are we giving this kid national attention for his AWFUL behavior...reaccuring at that?

    People kill me...really...something is going on with your child...maybe try a little harder to figure it out.

  10. Awesome blog! Feel free to stop by and follow me back at www.ageekswifeandherdog.com and also link up with Friendly Friday Follow

  11. I don't think it was at all excessive. The boy needed to stop what he was doing and the pepper spray accomplished that in seconds. What really needs to happen is to hold the mom accountable for her son's behavior.

  12. Not excessive at all, his mother should carry a couple of cans of pepper spray and use them on him every time he gets out of line.....

  13. I just came to get your button and got caught up in the story! I am passionate about the way children are raised today. So many parents are afraid to 'parent' their children, so the kids are in charge. This child is in serious need of some boundaries. Clearly, the mom doesn't want to take responsibility, so the child will grow up never taking responsibility for his own actions! This is a huge problem in our society. To sum this up...the parents are to blame for this out of control child. I post life lessons about raising children on Sundays! Christie at Three Pixie Lane


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