Thursday, April 21, 2011

First-Grader Handcuffed After Easter Egg Tantrum

The mother of 7-year-old Joseph Anderson is outraged. She says her son was treated like a criminal when he was removed from his first-grade classroom in Queens, NY in handcuffs and taken in an ambulance to a local hospital after he became upset while painting an Easter egg on April 13.
“They handcuffed me and they picked me up and they took me to the ambulance,” Anderson said. “I wanted to color my Easter egg again so my mom could know how nice was it. But Ms. Kate wouldn’t let me so I jumped on the table,” Joseph said. He said the school employees at P.S. 153 in Queens told him he’d be taken to the hospital if he didn’t calm down. That made him more agitated. His mother was called, but police arrived before she did, slapped Joseph in on handcuffs and took him to an ambulance. He screamed for his mother, Jessica. “I wanted to sit on the seat and the guy say I’m gonna get the needle,” Joseph said. “They treated him like a perp,” his mother added. “All he wanted was his mother and he’s treated like a common criminal,” said family attorney Robert Nicholson. Police said Joseph, who is a special needs student, acted in a threatening manner, and that he had scissors and was restrained for his own safety and the safety of other children. The scissors in question were small plastic safety scissors. New Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that while a full investigation will be conducted, it appears that school officials took the appropriate action. “There are occasion when it may need to be done and I think it’s the responsibility of the principal and school safety to make that determination, but there are opportunities that present themselves where a student may be in danger to either him or herself or to other students,” Walcott said. Joseph’s mother wasn’t having any of it. “How does the principal or police officer sleep at night ‘cause I’m not sleeping well? My son is not sleeping well,” she said. “I want the principal to say sorry for handcuffing me and the cops for handcuffing me,” Joseph added.
The boy's mother is prepared to file a lawsuit on behalf of her son, whom she says suffers from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders and has The little boy has begun wetting himself in the middle of the day and throwing up since the incident. She also plans to remove him from the public school and enroll him in private school.
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