According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Honolulu police arrested and handcuffed a girl aged 10 years old in January after she drew an offensive photograph of another student.
The mother and daughter are now requesting reforms at the Hawaii Department of Education (HPD), as well as a law firm, to correct what they claim is a pattern of misconduct with schoolchildren.
Tamara Taylor, her 10-year old daughter (N.B.) is represented by the ACLU and Caballero Law LLLC. According to these groups, Taylor’s school called her on January 10 after another parent asked that she be taken to court. N.B. In response to the student bullying her, she allegedly took part in an offensive sketch drawing of a student. The young girl is not certain what crime she committed drawing the picture.
Taylor reports that Taylor was detained by police at the school after arriving. In another room, the officers interrogated Taylor’s daughter. According to reports, Taylor was being questioned by officers in another room. They then handcuffed Taylor and placed her into a squad car.
Taylor’s little girl was never charged nor booked for a crime. She was however held in custody four hours. Taylor and her child have moved to Hawaii.
Taylor said that even though she was present at Honowai Elementary. She was not informed of the fact that her daughter had been removed from the school premises. Taylor also stated, “My daughter was handcuffed in front staff, placed in a squad vehicle and taken away.” ACLU Press releaseIt is. I was stripped from my parental rights, and my daughter was stripped off her right of protection and representation for minors.”
Caballero Law, the ACLU, and Caballero Law allege that authorities have falsely imprisoned, discriminated against racial groups, and used excessive force. Additional to They are asking for $500,000 in damages from the HPD, Hawaii Department of Education, to implement several reforms. For example, a parent/legal guardian must be present when a minor is being interrogated by officers. Police should only be called if a student poses an imminent danger of serious harm.
It is not the first instance of a child being placed in handcuffs at school. Last September, Orlando’s school resource officer was the subject of national attention. ArrestThis is a 6-year old girl. Another case, last year’s body camera footageFlorida officers tried unsuccessfully to handcuff an 8 year old boy in Key West. His wrists were too small. In Colorado, this year the American Civil Liberties Union sued Douglas County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Douglas County School Board. A boy of autistic 11 years is handcuffed and leaving him in the back of a police cruiser for two hours while he banged his head.
These incidents prompted lawmakers across the country to take action. Introduction of legislationTo raise the age that children are allowed to be detained. While 28 states do not have a minimum age for juvenile delinquency in their state, others place a low bar. North Carolina, for example, has a minimum age of 6.
Both the HPD and Hawaii Department of Education didn’t immediately reply to our requests for comment.