Police response to 5-year-old boy who left school was problematic from the start Elizabeth K. Anthony, Associate Professor of Social Work, Arizona State University - 6h ago
When police found a kindergarten boy who had walked off from school after attacking his teacher and classmates, it didn’t take them long to start guessing about the cause of his behavior.
“He’s bad because no one’s correcting it,” one of the officers who brought the boy back to school is seen saying on police body-camera footage of the incident, which took place in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2020.
The officers asked the boy if he got spankings at home – and later told his mother she should beat him.
But when I first saw the video, I knew this case was much deeper than just one of a boy being bad or playing hooky from school. As an expert in behavioral health, child trauma and school safety, I can see from the video that the boy is likely experiencing emotional and psychological distress before the officer speaks with him. His behavior, posture and voice – hanging his head low, shoulders hunched and murmuring – indicate something is wrong.