ok there is this story on the today show this morning. I read the transcript tonight about an 8 yr old who attends a school for children with emotional and social problems.  Apparently he was alone in a classroom with 2 teachers and got so enraged he ripped molding off the walls, threw chairs and grabbed a stick and chased his teachers into the office.  He threatened them if they came out they would die.

police came to the school.  According to them, they asked the child to drop the stick, when he didn't they peppered sprayed him.  The child claims he already dropped the stick when he was sprayed.

Mom says it was excessive force.  But this is also the third time police needed to be called to keep this child from harming himself or others. Mom says he only acts out at school, he's a normal 8 yr old at home. He apparently only has problems at transition times, going from free play to structured learning time. And mom also says drs and therapists have evaluated him and found no mental problems.

The child says he doesn't know what made him so angry, it just happened.

What say you?

Add A Comment


Apr. 7, 2011 at 12:08 AM

My first thought is I doubt this boy is a " normal 8 year old" at home. There are some physical disorders that can cause a child to exhibit bizarre behavior, such as ALD ( think Lorenzo's Oil) Whatever the etiology, this child desperately needs medical / psychiatric attention.

 However, if he wasn't threatening and / or attacking the police with said stick, I don't see why pepper spray would be necessary.

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 7, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I agree with the PP, this child isn't a normal 8yr old. He's probably got a mental condition that isn't diagnosed yet. First thought, bipolar. Because he said he didn't know why he was so angry. That's often what people say when they are bipolar because there is no control over their emotions. The kid needs a psychiatrist.

That said, if he was that out of control, then I see no reason not to use pepper spray. Its probably the most effective and nicest way to have gotten control. If they had tried physical restraint he could have hurt himself or others. Pepper spray gets him under control without even touching him first.

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 7, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Oh, my gosh.  This child must have mental issues.  Normal functioning children, although can get very mad, do not act in this manner and they don't threaten people that they are going to kill them. 

It 's very sad and I don't know if it was excessive force or not.  But it seems like several adults could restrain a child.  Then again I think when people are that angry they have strengh beyond what they normally have. 

Very Sad.

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Not to upset anyone, but I read and watched the little excerpt from yahoo.com that was on the other day. And I do not believe it was fair for the police officers to use pepper spray.

Yes, the child must have some psychological disorders, or w/e but he still is a MINOR child. I think two police officers would most deffinetly be able to restrain the said 8 year old child. As to the mother, I think there is something else underlying within this situation. As parents we believe our children could do no wrong therefore I feel this is the reason that his mother is speaking out and saying he's normal at home. 

Also, this country which has been built on idividuality (ok so maybe i'm just individualistic) so who is to say (other than doctors or psychatrists) what is the norm??

Has anyone heard about the boy from a very prestigeous and religious family murdering them-and leaving his sister/brother in the hospital?? This happened as well in colorado->about the same time.

And again, my 2 cents, I get very heartbroken when listening/watching the news and finding this out...therefore....I want to swear off all news watching! ha! lol

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 7, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Sad. ;(

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 8, 2011 at 4:47 AM

First thought? If he's "normal", then why is he at a special school? Something seems a bit fishy there...

And I think the pepper spray was over the top. He had a stick, not a gun. Grown adults vs. an 8 year old boy? I work with special needs children and some of them do have serious behavior issues. While some of them have a "911 protocol" (we call the cops when they have been out of control for X number of minutes), there is no pepper spray involved. Handcuffs? Sure. A trip to the psych hospital? If the situation warrants it. Pepper spray? Never.

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 8, 2011 at 5:53 AM At the time this happened he wad in "regular" school, afterwards he went to a crisis type setting and from there was trasnferred to the behavioral school. He was spitting had ripped the wood off the wall (or whatevet it was a part of) , the teachers were baricadinf themselves. Cops had been able to talk himbdown twice before so clearly this third time was eorse. The. Boy said he was goung to hurt anyone who came near him (even called them fuckers) in that situation I don't xaee if he's 8 or 18, he is an immediate danger and the pepper spray was/is warranted. I feel sympathy for the mom assuming because he's not on meds or diagnosed tjat he's "fine". And a giant bullshit he's not like that at home.

Message Friend Invite

Apr. 8, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Wow, makes my son's rages sound mild.  My son has Asperger's.  Many of the teachers, especially special ed and counsilor, probably principals, take courses to learn proper restraint techniques.  I also love that my school has a padded time out room.  There is a door knob up high and down low, so the kid can't constantly open the door.  There's nothing in the room, just padded walls.  Works very well to calm an overstimulated child.

I also wanted to mention that I don't think it is technically correct to refer to many of these problems as "mental" or "psychological."  Many of them have been reclassified as neurological disorders.  Not sure which ones, but definitely Autism related ones.

Message Friend Invite

Want to leave a comment and join the discussion?

Sign up for CafeMom!

Already a member? Click here to log in