A lawsuit out of Chicago, Illinois alleges that several 6- and 7-year-old students at a city public school were handcuffed and threatened for hours all for talking during their first grade class.
LaShanda Smith, one of the student’s mothers, is seeking $100,000 from the city for damages both “permanent” and “personal” that she says her son suffered as a result of the incident, which allegedly occurred in 2010 at a school in the south side of the city. Smith’s attorney Michael Carin tells the Chicago Tribune that he has attempted to resolve the issue without bringing the battle into the courtroom, but the school Board officials have ignored his attempts at reaching a settlement.
“Unfortunately, we had to file a lawsuit because the Chicago Board of Education ignored my client on the day of the imprisonment and every day thereafter,” Carin writes in an email to the Tribune. “We hope the Chicago Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility and resolves the matter quickly.”
Carin claims that the school’s security guard removed several students from class for being disruptive and detained them in a separate room where no other adults were present. Once there, they were handcuffed for hours, says the attorney.
While imprisoned and bound, Carin claims that the security guard also barked threats at the children, which included the allegation that “they were going to prison and would never see their parents again.”
“There appears to be no reason for an officer to isolate 6- and 7-year-old children, place them in handcuffs and threaten them for hours during a school day, or any other day,” Carin tells the Tribune.
According to the suit filed this week, the acting officer was acting “in conscious disregard” of Ms Smith’s safety, she says, and acted “reckless” with the youths.
While Smith and Carin are going after the Chicago Public School system and the Board of Education, school administrators and the alleged officer have not been named as defendants in the case.