We have to stop the Government from abusing our children!

Sumner (center) has lunch with students at John G. Carlisle School in Covington with Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn (left) and Superintentendent Alvin Garrison (right) (RCN file)

Not only do they profile us as adults, they do it to our children as well!  And it seems to me that all children are being approached and prosecuted similar if not exactly like adults, no matter the offense.

We as parents have to fight for our children not to be abused while in custody of State and/or Federal Authorities.  The schools continue to be a breeding ground for abuse of children by school teachers and other officials, counselors, etc.., And then law enforcement can come in right behind them and traumatize a child at will.  When did we loose the right to protect our children from harm?  Why do we have to sit here and watch while our children are being abused right before our eyes?  The whole scenario is out of control.  It would seem that although these actions are illegal they are still being used with no repercussions.

“Kentucky’s school personnel are prohibited from using restraints, especially mechanical restraints, to punish children or as a way to force behavior compliance,” said Kim Tandy, executive director of the Children’s Law Center, in a statement. LINK

There have been two incidents brought out in the media in the past few days in Kentucky which blatantly show the need for Officer’s to be much better trained on  procedures for dealing with a “out of control” child.  If they are not trained or are otherwise unable to render the type of service needed from an Officer in this type of environment then they should not be assigned to those duties.

S.R., a male minor, 8 years old and 52 pounds at the time of the incident who suffers from PTSD and ADHD, and L.G., a female minor, 9 years old and 56 pounds at the time of her trauma who has PTSD as well, whose Mother’s have both filed suit against the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Sheriff of Kenton County Charles Korzenborn and Kevin Sumner, the school Resource Officer  in question has been named both personally and professionally.

The suit alleges violation of rights under the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Allegedly L.G., suffered at the hands of Officer Sumner on not one but two separate occasions in the Fall of 2014.  Sumner was recorded in a video while abusing one of them.  They were both handcuffed behind their backs at the biceps.  This procedure is not justified.

In a report referred to in the law suit the U.S. Government Accountability Office states that during the period of 1990 to 2009 there were hundreds of complaints of restraint and “seclusion” in schools and at least 20 are known to have resulted in death.

In 2012 the Kentucky Board of Education limited the use of physical restraint to those incidents in which the Student “poses an imminent danger of physical harm to self or others”.  This “regulation” became active in 2013.

The Kenton County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement in support of Sumner, stressing that “all the facts and circumstances have not yet been presented.”

S.R., was in the third grade at Latonia Elementary School at the time of the incident.  According to CRDC 20% of the Student’s at Latonia have mental disabilities.

In an “Investigation Report” written months later Sumner claims that S.R., attempted to strike him with his elbow, however, he managed to block the hit.

The suit claims there was no “direct threat justification” for placement of the child into handcuffs.

L.G., suffered two incidents, the first of which was August 21, 2014 when she was placed in the “in school suspension” room where she continued to be disruptive at which time Sumner proceeded to place her in his patrol car, drive her home, and wait in the driveway for an hour before her Mother came home.

On October 3, 2014 once again L.G., was placed into the “in school suspension” room where she continued to be disruptive.  She was then escorted to an “isolation room”.  When she tried to exit the room she was physically detained by the Principal and Vice Principal.  Officer Sumner was summoned to the disruption and handcuffed L.G., for 20 minutes.

In an “Investigation Report” Officer Sumner claims that he handcuffed her because “she attempted to harm school staff while being restrained”.  The child suffered a severe mental crisis at that time and was transported to the hospital.

Again, the suit claims there was no “direct threat justification” for placement of the child into handcuffs.

The “Causes of Action” include:

Count I – Unreasonable seizure and Excessive Force under the U.S. Constitution, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Count II – Disability based discrimination in Violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Count III – Disabilities based Failure to Accommodate in Violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The “prayer of relief” includes:

Declare that the actions and inactions described herein violate the rights of the Plaintiff’s S.R., and L.G., under the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Issue an order enjoining the Defendant’s from engaging in the unlawful conduct complained of herein.

Compensatory Damages,

Punitive Damages,

All Costs,

Any further relief that the Court deems just and proper.

It is signed by William F. Sharp, Legal Director, ACLU Kentucky,

Rickell L. Howard,  Attorney,

R. Kenyon Meyer,  Attorney,

Claudia Center, Susan Mizner, ACLU Foundation.

According to LouisvillePeace.org Departments have vague “use of force” policies that allow officers to interpret them the way they want.  This has to change.  Our children’s lives are depending upon it.

Shackling children is not OK. It is traumatizing, and in this case it is also illegal,” Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the ACLU, said in a statement. “Using law enforcement to discipline students with disabilities only serves to traumatize children. It makes behavioral issues worse and interferes with the school’s role in developing appropriate educational and behavioral plans for them.”

The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit and posted the videos, said it was a classic example of the “school to prison pipeline,” one of the driving forces in this country’s economy, which has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation in the world.

Today more than ever we have to live with the fact that many of our children are developmentally and/or mentally challenged.  There are so many mental health issues and Autism is now projected to be affecting  possibly 1 in 68 children.

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