Disabled Students Handcuffed in Classroom by Sheriff, Parents & ACLU Are Suing

The child you see with the handcuffs around his tiny biceps has suffered trauma in the past and has ADHD. He’s in pain, and you can hear and see it in the video above. But he’s not the only one at Latonia Elementary School in Covington, Kentucky to receive this sort of painful abuse as punishment for behavioral problems that are linked to trauma and disability.

The families of two children and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are now suing law enforcement for using police tactics on little children whose erratic behavior is deeply rooted in their disabilites. Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner and Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn are named in the federal lawsuit, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The ACLU is responsible for releasing the featured video, which was recorded in the fall of 2014. The second student, a 9-year old-girl who is also disabled, received the same punishment twice.

The ACLU demands that this practice of shackling children to end. It goes against disabled students rights. Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the ACLU, said in a statement to ABC and CNN:

“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…Both children were being punished for behavior related to their disabilities.”

In the video above you hear the sherif ignoring the boy’s obvious pain in being in such an awkward position with both arms pulled back behind him:

“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” the deputy says as the boy cries. “You can do what we’ve asked you to, or you can suffer the consequences.”

“Ow, that hurts!” the boy cries.

“If you want the handcuffs off, you’re going to have to behave and ask me nicely,” the sherif said. “And if you’re behaving, I’ll take them off, but as long as you’re acting up, you’re not going to get them off.”

The handcuffs were removed after about 15 minutes, according to school records.

We want to hear what you have to say about these incidents and the video above.