4-Year-Old Handcuffed, Shackled and Hauled off to Sheriff’s Office by Cops

A four-year-old Virginia boy with attention deficit disorder (ADD) was handcuffed and shackled, then taken away in a squad car after his teacher and principal were unable to calm him down, WVTF reports.


According to officials at the Nathanael Greene Primary School, on the day in question the pre-kindergarten student had thrown blocks, climbed on and over deks, and scratched and kicked both the principal and the director of special education.

“The boy was out of control, basically, throwing his arms around and kicking– trying to kick the deputy, trying to run away, and the deputy felt that putting the handcuffs on him was for his safety as well as everybody else’s,” County Sheriff Steven Smith said.

“Once he got inside the office,” the sheriff added, “since he tried to run and kick the deputies, they took the handcuffs off him and put the leg shackles on him.”

The boy’s mother, Tracy Wood, was appalled at the way in which the school officials allowed her son to be treated.

“When you call a parent to get their child, when they get to the school, you expect the child to be there,” she said, “especially when you arrive in a timely manner.”

Instead, she was greeted by the principal, who informed her that her shackled 4-year-old had been transported to the sheriff’s office. According to child psychologist Jeffrey Fracher, the use of shackles on a child that young could have a long-term effect on his psychological well-being.

“I can’t imagine any scenario where it would be appropriate to handcuff a child that young,” he told TVTF. “What we know about childhood development and psychological development suggests that could be also be highly traumatizing to a child.”

The boy’s mother says that is exactly what has happened. Her son, who was suspended indefinitely after the incident, suffers from nightmares as a result of his first brush with law enforcement.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.