Family of 7-year-old student handcuffed for crying sues school with help of ACLU

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

Two years ago, Kaylb Wiley Primm was crying in his second grade classroom when a police officer stationed at the Kansas City public school walked by, heard the commotion and handcuffed the 7-year-old when his crying continued in the hallway, according to the Huffington Post.

Now, Missouri's American Civil Liberties Union is helping Kaylb's family sue the school district on the grounds of a state policy that says the "use of restraints for elementary and secondary students should be used only in extreme circumstances or emergencies," the ACLU's press release stated. 

Kaylb, who the ACLU reported stood less than 4 feet tall and weighed less than 50 pounds at the time, was allegedly handcuffed for over 15 minutes. Kaylb had been crying because he was being bullied.

"I couldn't believe it because I couldn't imagine they were allowed to do anything like that, or I would never have put him in there," his mother, Tomesha Primm, told Huffington Post

"He knew he didn't do anything wrong," she said. "He didn't know if the man was going to take him to jail."

Kaylb's story isn't unusual: In 2013, after throwing a tantrum in her class, 8-year-old Jmhya Rickman allegedly had her hands and feet handcuffed by police before being held in custody for two hours. And last year, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was handcuffed when he was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school — the police had thought it was a bomb. 

These incidents can have lasting effects on students like Kaylb, whose mother said he began having nightmares and wetting the bed, according to Huffington Post. She eventually took him out of school for safety concerns.

"As a parent, I want to make sure no other child – in Kansas City or anywhere else in the country – experiences what my son did," said Primm in the ACLU's release. 

The ACLU representation said they'd make sure of it.

"What happened to this child is simply wrong," ACLU of Missouri Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman said. "This is a call to action for all of us to stop the unnecessary punishment that happens to young boys of color all across our nation – and particularly in Missouri."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.