8th Grader Arrested, Threatened with Beatings and Held for 6 Days in Jail – For Throwing Skittles

Jefferson Parrish, LA — In a Jefferson Parrish School District in Louisiana, an eighth grader was handcuffed and dragged out of the classroom…for throwing skittles. He was then held for six days.

For throwing skittles.

The boy had allegedly thrown the candy on a school bus the previous day. A report from Vocativ states:

“The following day, as the boy was taking a social studies test, a police officer assigned to the school handcuffed him, dragged him out of class and arrested him. He was charged with “interference with an educational facility” and battery.

As the officer led the handcuffed teenager out of the school, both students and faculty heard him threaten to “beat the f*** out of [the boy],” or to have his son, who is about the same age, do it for him. The student, who is African-American, spent six days in a juvenile detention facility before seeing a judge, whose first comment was: “Am I to get this right? Are we really here about Skittles?”

The mother has pulled the young boy from the school.

This is no isolated incident. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Jefferson Parish School District has had over 1600 kids arrested for things like carrying a cell phone, swearing, or not adhering to dress code. Arrested. 

In what universe is this acceptable?

They also found that black students make up 80% of those arrested, despite that fact that black students make up only 40% of the school district. The SPLC has reportedly called on the Department of Justice “to intervene with the school’s unwarranted arrests of overwhelmingly minority students.”

According to SPLC attorney Eden Heilman,

“The Jefferson Parish Public School System has continued its destructive practice of arresting and jailing children for minor, and often trivial, violations of school rules and decorum. It’s nothing less than a racially biased system of criminalizing African-American children.”

The school district stated publicly that it was aware of the situation and will be working to fix it.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.