What danger would a 7-year old pose to an armed police officer? Stop and think about that because this is a story, a sad story, of an aggrieved mother whose boy was handcuffed by policemen despite his special needs challenges.
The mother, April Obis, says her son suffers from hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and thus cannot concentrate on a task for long. It is unfortunate that the incident happened in the full knowledge of the boy’s teachers as he was handcuffed from school and taken to a mental hospital.
But what is ADHD and why was it wrong for the cops to handcuff the boy? ADHD is a disorder that affects children and teens in such a way they cannot control their impulses. The symptoms of ADHD sets between six and twelve years. During this period, you will note kids have a problem concentrating in class, recreational activities and home tasks. However, they concentrate on the task they find interesting.
Back to April Obis’ son story…the teachers ought to have known that the boy would get disruptive and instead of informing the police, they should have called the parent. They should also have told the police that the boy had special needs. In fact, the lady told WBRC Fox 6 news that she had procured the services of a trained counselor at Gabe P. Allen Charter School of Dallas to assist the boy the moment such issues arose.
On this particular day May 9, 2016, the counselor was not available and the boy was banging his head against the wall. The Dallas Independent School District Police subdued the boy. The manner in which they did it leaves a lot to be desired.
After Obis was notified of the incident, she rushed to the school to pick up her son only to find that he was already gone. What’s more, when she asked the school authority of his whereabouts, they said that he was acting up and thus they had to send him away.
After being taken in handcuffs to Dallas Behavioural Healthcare in DeSoto, the boy was locked up to May 15, 2016 when the staff concluded that he was “no longer a threat to himself”.
According to Amar Dhillon, an attorney with the Obis’ family, the child had injuries that were consistent with stun gun and baton. A seven year old with all the hallmarks of unnecessary police force! He said the boy described vividly his shock and how his body convulsed after he was hit by the police.
It’s unclear if the child will return to the school. The school district has said privacy concerns prevent them from speaking specifically about the allegations. However, Fox 4 News did obtain a copy a statement the district sent out to parents after a photo of the handcuffed child began making the rounds on social media.
The situation remains tense and it is still unclear whether the boy will be returning to the school. The school official claimed privacy concerns when asked whether they will re-admit him. It also sent a circular saying that the image of a boy in handcuffs doing rounds was of a student who was being restrained from harming himself. “We request everyone to help stop the continued misinformation about the incident.” Said the statement.
Unfortunately, this does not remove the fact that a 7-year old boy with special needs was handcuffed! It also does not escape the keen observer that both the school authorities and police officers lack proper training in handling such cases. For now, April Obis is taking care of her son but feels that he was denied a safe place to grow up and study despite his mental disorder.