Alton school officials and Alton Police stand by the decision to place an 8-year-old girl in handcuffs after allegedly throwing a tantrum Tuesday.
LoveJoy Elementary School said as a last resort they sometimes have to involve law enforcement.
However, the school said it is rare for them to involve police in these types of situations.
“As a last resort we sometime have to involve law enforcement,” said Alton Schools Assistant Superintendent Kristi Baumgartner, “They take the student into protective custody when the parent refuses to pick up the child.”
Alton Police also said they believe the officer acted properly in restraining the 8-year-old girl in handcuffs.
Jmyha Rickman’s family said the girl has dealt with anxiety problems and separation anxiety and now Rickman’s uncle, Nehemiah Keeton said the young girl is too afraid to go back to school.
Keeton also said they have had teachers hold her down and had him pick her up from school, but this is the first time a police officer has been involved.
Keeton said he had told school officials Tuesday that he was coming to pick up the girl, but said he thought school officials grew impatient and called the police.
“I feel like if you can’t handle an 8-year-old without calling the police,” said Keeton, “to put fear in them like my child, you don’t need to work with kids.”
Rickman was hauled in the back of a police squad car on Tuesday afternoon. Rickman said both her hands and feet were cuffed.