Third-Graders: Classmate Was Restrained, Handcuffed And Medicated In
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 23, 2005
PHOENIX, ARIZONA--Parents of third-graders at Lakeview Elementary expressed outrage last Friday over an incident in which police and school officials allegedly handcuffed an 8-year-old girl, restrained her feet and then forced her to take medication -- all in front of her classroom peers.
About 100 parents met with police and school officials to discuss the incident that allegedly took place on Tuesday, November 15, the Arizona Republic reported.
According to a district spokesperson, the girl had been having "separation anxiety dealing with issues in the home", when police officers saw her running down the street. Police then took the girl to school, with her mother following. At some point after the girl arrived at the school, an officer, the school principal and school psychologist handcuffed and restrained the girl -- with permission from the mother -- then administered a prescribed anti-depressant medication.
The Phoenix Police Department is investigating to determine whether Officer William Buividas used excessive force.
Principal Cherri Rifenburg and psychologist Burke Bretzing have been placed on paid leave pending investigation into their conduct.
Many of the parents that met Friday expressed concerns that the girl was handcuffed in front of the classmates, and that the children related that school officials told them not to tell their parents, saying it was "the girl's business".
"Girl handcuffed at school; officials on leave" (Arizona Republic)
"Parents question restraint of girl, 8" (Arizona Republic)