An 8-year-old was handcuffed for throwing a tantrum and ended up spending two hours in jail, where her guardian said police ignored the girl’s pleas to use the bathroom.
The girl, Jymha Rickman, was at Love Joy Elementary School on Tuesday morning when she reportedly had a bad tantrum. Officials from the Alton, Illinois, school could not handle the girl, and ultimately called the Alton Police to handle the situation.
But instead of defusing the situation, police decided that the 8-year-old girl needed to be handcuffed for her tantrum and thrown in the back of a police cruiser. The girl’s guardian told KMOV that police treated the 70-pound girl like a criminal.
The situation got worse when the girl was taken to jail with her hands cuffed behind her back, the guardian said. Though the 8-year-old girl asked police if she could get her coat, those please were ignored. Police also refused to let the girl use the bathroom, the guardian added.
“Her eyes were swollen from her crying and her wrists had welts on them,” said Rickman’s guardian. “They cuffed her feet too and she asked to use the restroom several times and was ignored.”
Police saw the situation somewhat differently. They say they were called to the school after the girl tore up two classrooms and school officials could not stop her. They agree that the 8-year-old was handcuffed for her tantrum, but said that she was supervised after being put in a juvenile detention room.
District officials had not commented on the situation or why police were called to handle the girl’s tantrum.
The story of the 8-year-old girl handcuffed for her tantrum went viral on Wednesday, with media from across the country picking up on the story. The New York Daily News wrote about the incident, including the headline, “What ever happened to time out?”