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School District, Alton Police Stand by Decision to Handcuff Child

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ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) — Alton Police and the Alton Community Unit School District 11 are all standing behind their decision to handcuff an eight-year-old special needs student Tuesday and taken her to police headquarters.

Jmiyha Rickman was reportedly throwing what has been described as a bad tantrum at Loy Joy Elementary. Police say Rickman took a swing at a school resource officer and tore up two classrooms.

Kristie Baumgartner Alton Asst. Superintendent says when a student potentially becomes a harm to themselves or others their social work team intervenes. And if the situation escalates, “We contact the parents, request that they pick the child up.

“If they refuse or are not willing to pick up the child we then, in rare incidents, are forced to contact law enforcement.”

The father is quoted as saying this has happened before and the school knew he was on his way to get his daughter.

Alton’s Interim Police Chief, Scott Waldrup says officers acted with great restraint and caution. Chief Waldrup could not clarify reports that the girl’s legs were cuffed as well, but said, “are officers on the street do not customarily carry any type of leg restraints, so I do not believe that to be the case.”

Alton police have reviewed the situation following a complaint by the father and the department feels they acted appropriately.

“It was absolutely necessary to restrain this child for the protection of the child and others that were at the school at the time,” said Baumgartner.

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