The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit accusing the Kansas City (Mo.) school district of unlawfully restraining a 7-year-old boy by putting him in handcuffs.
The ACLU of Missouri says Kalyb Wiley Primm, who is now 10, was handcuffed for more than 15 minutes in the April 2014 incident at George Melcher Elementary School. The boy, who was in second grade, was handcuffed while waiting in the principal’s office for a parent to arrive after he was removed from class.
The suit asserts that the School Resource Officer Brandon Craddock handcuffed Kalyb and pushed him down a hallway after the boy cried out in response to being bullied in his classroom. At the time, he stood less than 4 feet tall and weighed less than 50 pounds.
"Instead of stopping or employing any de-escalation techniques, Defendant Craddock twisted [Kalyb's] arms and handcuffed [him] with his arms behind his back, and then led him to the front office in handcuffs," the suit alleges.
The suit further contends that school principal Anne Wallace did not intervene or instruct Craddock to remove the handcuffs and ignored Kalyb while she completed paperwork unrelated to the incident.
“This child committed no crime, threatened no one, and posed no danger to anyone,” ACLU of Missouri Legal Director Tony Rothert says in a news release. “Gratuitously handcuffing children is cowardly and violates the constitution.”
The civil rights groups say the incident also violated state of Missouri policy, which says that the use of restraints for elementary and secondary students should be used only in extreme circumstances or emergencies.
After the incident, Kalyb was so scared to return to school that his mother withdrew him. He was homeschooled for the next two years.
The suit seeks compensatory damages and and a judicial order that the Kansas City district establish appropriate training programs for its school resource officers.