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Miami police handcuffed a 7 year old boy

Nicholas Drexler, Staffer

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On Jan. 26, 2018 in Miami, Florida at the Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center, a seven year old boy was put in handcuffs for getting in a fight with a teacher over playing with his food.

The fight started that Thursday when a teacher told the first grader to stop playing with his food in the cafeteria.When the he refused to stop, he was taken from the cafeteria. The first grader then hit the teacher repeatedly in the back, pulling hair and kicking his teacher until they both fell on the ground. After the boy calmed down, he was taken to the principal’s office and then put into custody by the Miami police. The report added that the teacher had said she wanted to press charges.

In November, the same boy was accused of kicking a teacher, but the school handled the matter internally without getting the police involved. The boy’s parents went down to the school and agreed to a ten day suspension, but were told that he had to be taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Eventually the boy was hospitalized briefly at Miami Children’s Hospital under the Florida Mental Health Act, also known as the Baker Act, based on behavioral criteria that indicated he could pose a threat to himself or others, school district officials said.

The Baker Act’s policy on mental health examinations states that it is standard protocol for anyone being transported to have their hands cuffed behind their back for the safety and security of the officer and the person involved.

According to the incident report, the first grader’s father agreed to the evaluation and agreed with school officials that the child should be taken to a mental health facility, but the boy’s mother, Mercy Alvarez, argued that there was nothing wrong with their son. Alvarez said her son doesn’t have a mental disorder. Instead, Alvarez called her son’s arrest police abuse.

“If my child wasn’t aggressive anymore when we got there, like they were saying he was before, why take such extreme measures,” Alvarez said.

The mother of the first grader said he didn’t show aggressive behavior at home. She’s looking into why her son only began having problems there since the school year started. She also said that, in previous years, he got good grades, participated in other activities and showed good conduct.

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Nicholas Drexler, Staffer

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Miami police handcuffed a 7 year old boy