Apparently throwing a tantrum at the tender age of eight can get you almost thrown in jail.

St. Louis’ KMOV reports an elementary school student Jmyha Rickman, 8, was handcuffed by her wrists and feet and was taken tot he police station after throwing a tantrum in school.

School officials at Lovejoy Elementary School called the Alton, Ill. police to intervene during what was apparently a bad tantrum that Rickman regularly has.

Rickman’s guardian, Nehemiah Keeton told KMOV, “Her eyes were swollen from her crying and her wrists had welts on them.” She also said the 8-year old was treated like a criminal.

Alton police told KMOV they were answering a call regarding an out of control child who was tearing up two classrooms. Police also clarified that Rickman was put in a supervised juvenile detention room at the police station. An officer says he thinks the appropriate actions were taken, according to KMOV.

No one from the school has commented on why they would even call the police for an 8-year-old child.

Also On Black America Web:

41 thoughts on “8-Year-Old Girl Handcuffed & Held By Police For Throwing A Tantrum

  1. Gloria on said:

    Raised a foster child that would have meltdowns everyday. Her behaviors were so bad that for her safety and everyone else around her the police had to be called to restraint her.I was glad that police was called in to help. Even at home I have had to call the police to help me restraint her. This is what has to be done when children have severe mental illness. She kicked her teacher in the mouth and broke two of her teeth trying to hold her down. They uncle should be glad that the school called the police. If another student got hurt from her throwing things, He would have to pay the medical bill.
    There is a lot that the parent can do at home to work will the school instead of making the school the bad guy.

  2. Lisa on said:

    I was thrown body slammed by a police officer when I was 9 in California. The officer was telling my father that he was a “hippie” and that they could settle it “mano y mano” so I jumped the police man and ended up having my arms cut so bad i still have the scars today due to the glass on teh ground when the officer body slammed me. I do not trust police to this day.

    • Tami on said:

      So pm, you thought you were bad like your dad. I bet your dad took one look at you and got tight lipped! That’s why kids stay in kids place. Lol!

  3. The police could get there quicker than the child’s guardian. Plus officers are trained how to restrain people. I’m sure the school
    called the guardian, too. That might be the only way she will learn that her actions won’t be tolerated.

  4. Terry Winston on said:

    This to me sounds like people not getting the facts. When the news came out it was said she is AUTISTIC. If you have never been in this situation you have no clue what it is all about. We adopted a little girl when she was 8 mos. At 2 yrs.old she was diagnosed with extreme autism. She is now 14. We go through this everyday at home and at school. The big difference we are in St.Louis where she has been in special school from day one. Alton does not have a special school district. Our child has tantrums like this daily but maybe with special schools they are more trained to deal with this type of behavior. It has nothing to do with home training, it is a illness. This story is very close to my heart as my wife and I know what this gaurdian is going through. So unless you have walked in our shoes please dont judge. Autism and mental disorders are very misunderstood illness. Trust me when I say it takes strength and all of your faith in God to handle this daily. I did not write this for sympathy but for understanding.

    • Catt2u on said:

      Terry, We have a 14yr (looks like he’s 10yrs old) son w/Autism his cognitive skills range are that of a 1 to 2 yrs old and he have limited verbal skills. Our son has SIB (self injury behaviors) issues and on one occasion the school resource officer, school aid and behavioral specialist brought our son home because they feared he would seriously injury himself. Some of with old school ideologies would say “if he does get hurt, then he learns from his experience”. The aide from his class who is also black said, “I understand what you’re saying, if my son came home w/bruises (self inflicted) i would be pissed”. In my son’s case the school did the right thing bring him home. Previously we also used to get daily calls because our son was having meltdowns and although his abuse was directed towards himself, sometimes he throw himself against objects that would fall against other students (putting the other students at risk of being injured), so they brought in the resource Officer to assist teacher and staff. He’s now on medication which has decreased some of behavioral issues. Parents and other Ppl who don’t have kids with special needs don’t understand how overwhelmingly stressful and sometime heart-wrenching it can be to have a child with Autism or other special needs that often include behavioral issues; For most of us, it has nothing to do with poor parenting skills.

  5. Better for the school to call someone in authority in rather than deal with this child destroying the classrooms. Apparently, the situation has not been handled at home. Those children are in school to get an education, and the other children should not have their education disrupted by an unruly child, for whatever reason. When children are disciplined at home, that goes with them when they leave the home. When children are not disciplined at home, unfortunately, that goes with them also. If the child needs medication to go out in public, oh well. If other children see this one in school acting a fool and getting away with it, somebody else is going to try it. If she needs to educated in special environment, so be it. If she does this in school, pretty sure she does at home or any place she doesn’t get her way. These children nowadays need a little fear put in them. They don’t respect authority. Respect starts at home. They need some of that “I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out” kind of tough love. Discipline your children at home, and people won’t have to call authorities in to do it.

  6. Candice Miller on said:

    I just wonder how many of their white students get this kind of treatment. We all know the stats on black students having higher rates of suspension and harsher discipline. Can’t help but wonder.

  7. sharonc on said:

    Before I started working in the school system I might have been upset about this article, but knowing what I know now, they probably did the right thing by restraining her so that she could not hurt herself or others and do any more damage to the classrooms and school. The best thing was to remove her from the school (by any means necessary). Evidently she was still out of control at the police station if they had to keep her restrained.

  8. eliot on said:

    one of the main problems i have with this story from black america is they don’t give you the full story only parts and bits. they don’t even say if the parents were called which they should have been the first ones called if nothing else. they talked about the guarding of the child who said how she look after words. from what ive been reading so far this has been an on going problem with that child which i will say the school and the family are at fault because this problem should have been adressed before it even get to this point.

  9. ANGELA HARRIS on said:

    WOW This story hits my home and my heart. You see I am a parent of four. 30yrs 25yrs 19yrs and yes a 10yr old. Never knew about ADHD til the youngest came along. I got calls from the teacher every day from age 8 after her dad died and she was a DADDYS GIRL. Everyone blamed his death on her behavior. I spanked her, took away her toys, removed her from cheerleading, dancing and even cried with her. She had a school counselor and all. i then saw a pamphlet at her DRS. office about ADHD and I not only had her tested by her Dr. but got second oppinion from a specialist. I read about this ADHD and talked to specialist and we all came to an agreemnt and started her on meds. My daughter used to give the teachers and our family HELL! She would throw tantrums, scream act angry and all and if you touched her you would think that the devil himself was in her and we had just thrown holy water on her. It killed me to see her that way. Now my baby is takin a drug called Focalin and she is now a completely dif child. Honor Roll and guess what? I can work without the school calling! My heart goes out to the parents of this child,Get the Child some help cause she can be helped. God is good.(and read about ADHD because it can explain a lot about your child and how to deal with her)

  10. TruthHurts on said:

    Well she looks like she is bad as hell and if they didn’t call the police and kept restraining her, her mother could have possibly sued the school. So instead of acting like she is a victim, she should be taught to act accordingly at school or get home schooled! These teachers should not have to waste their teaching time on someone that wants to come to the school and act a fool! Yeah I said it! Call 911 and document everytime! If her mama don’t like it then she should keep her at home with her until she can stop the acting a fool.

  11. ITCHICK on said:

    While I will admit that we do not fully understand all that has taken place with this child, I am a public school system employee. I am employed by a nationally renowned Baldridge award winning school system. I have witnessed screaming, kickin, falling on the ground and students that have bitten teachers. In my 10 yrs as an employee, I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED THE SCHOOL CALLING THE POLICE TO RESTAIN AND HANDCUFF A STUDENT, EVER!!!!! Just based on the limited information here, I will tell you that this child appears to need therapy and an intervention on a variety of levels. Also, I find that calling the police and dealing with children of color harshly is becoming a headline that, I am very sick of. Had the student been Caucasian and had a history of behaving in this same way, would the Lovejoy school administration have contacted the police? Frankly, hearing a poliice officer say that handcuffing an 8 yr old girl is appropriate behavior sickens me to the core. I wonderif it would be ok to handcuff an 8 yr old in his family? I would like to know what other steps have been taken to address the needs of this child and what supports her uncle has sought for her. I admire and respect the hard work that goes into being a part of a child’s village and working in public education, but if this is the school district policy, it seriously needs to be changed. All children need to be supported, nurtured and encouraged. It is the job of teachers and administrators to use positive behavior intervention strategies and to seek and support students and parents in getting needed resources for children. If this task proves to be too much, please get out of education.. NOW!!!!

  12. Catt2u on said:

    Ppl are looking at her age and think that because she’s 8yrs old the teachers/staff should have been able to control the situation w/o calling the police. Kids are stronger than they look and when they’re escalating and have an adrenaline rush you’d be amazed at how strong kids. School isn’t what it used to be and for those of us over the age of 35yrs; today’s kids have a variety of behavioral disorders. There are more dysfunctional families today then there were in the past, combine both issues in kids and it can get downright scary. The staff did the right thing in bring in the police. The teachers/school had a responsibility to not only protect the child who was having a meltdown, they also had a responsibility to protect the other kids in the class. There’s a lot that we don’t know in this story, but I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the first time this child lost control of her behavior in class. It likely that when the behavior happened this time, it was more than school could handle. I will say that all involved (including the parent), need additional training (ABA or Behavioral Modification) so that when any child’s behavior is escalating the school will know what to do so this won’t happen again.

  13. The 8 year old destroyed not 1 but 2 classrooms. Has anybody thought about the other children who had to witness this lil bad azz child? Dont pretend U dont know kids like this one. I pray for the child but U know and I know the teachers cant put the child in a bear lock and wait for the parents and they defiately cant touch the child. Stop making excuses for bad azzz undisciplined kids cause either they get disciplined now or the authorities handle them in jail when they go trying to tear up a grocery store or somebody;s business or home.

  14. Yolanda on said:

    The uncle said that the teachers have held her down on several occasions (01:39 thru 01:48). This is the problem! To me, several means 3 or more. The first restraint, should have come with a warning to get her under control. The second restraint, should have come with a suspension. The third should have been expulsion. The police should not have been called because it should have been handled by her guardian and the school before such drastic measures. I think that she needs special attention that a public school environment cannot tolerate. If the guardian does not get her the help that she needs, then, later, she will exhibit behavior that the public cannot tolerate, which will mean prison, although it should mean a mental health facility. A school teacher should not have to restrain a child on several occasions. Also, help may not mean medication. It may just mean making her fully understand the consequences of bad behavior!

  15. Pingback: Black Eight Year old Girl handcuffed, jailed for two hours | The Industry Cosign

  16. Gwendolyn Waller on said:

    How bad of a tantrum could she have been throwing? I believe it’s easier for the TPTB to call 911 on people of color than it is for non people of color, regardless of the age group . If she was having a tantrum, was that behavior inappropriate? Of Course! Does the action of the school administration match the offense? I think not. This just makes me wonder how older white kids are able to get assault weapons in schools and commit mass shootings without detection until it’s too late.

  17. Who the hell in their right mind would call the police for a 8yr old. That right there was totally uncalled for. She’s only 8. I’m sure the school could have taken better actions instead of calling the police on an 8yr old. What the hell is going on in the school systems today

    • I have taught students who are ED, have ADHD, and/or ADD. They can tear up a room, throw over tables, hurt themselves, or someone else. If they would have restrained her therapeutically it would have been a problem, if she would have hurt herself while clowning it would have been a problem. The people who want to say she is just 8 obviously have never dealt with a child such as this. We need to stop babying these children who do not behave as babies and hold them accountable. School is to learn, not to “cut the fool”. Her dad should be holding his head in guilt for allowing her to be out of control. (If she’s doing it in public, she’s doing it at home.) Instead, he’s trying to place fault on others.

    • Sabrina any 8 year old that destroys 2 classrooms with other students in it has something terribly wrong with her. WHO SHOULD THEY HAVE CALLED AND WHAT SHOULD THEY HAVE BEEN DONG WHIE SHE WAS TERRORIZING THE CLASSROOMS WITH OTHER CHILDREN IN IT?

  18. Justanotherteacher on said:

    I teach children with behavioral disorders. There are times when students are so out of control that the police need to be called to protect the student and the other students in the building. If this young lady destroyed two classrooms, she could have hurt another child or anyone that was supervising her. I occasionally must restrain students, as well. I have been hit, spit on, had things (chairs, books, etc.) thrown at me and head butted so hard that I almost passed out. Our school has had to call the police on a number of occasions because parents are too busy to come help with their child or the parents think that their child is in the right when it comes to their behavior. I had one student completely destroy a classroom while he was throwing things at me and trying to escape the school. I called parents, who asked me what I had done to make their child so angry. My response – I asked him to finish his work….sometimes the police are the only solution…

  19. ” No one from the school has commented on why they would even call the police for an 8-year old child.” I guess not, this kind of publicity does not inspire confidence in Lovejoy Elementary School. Can you imagine attending a national education conference? Where are you from? I’m from Alton, Illinois. Hmm, you wouldn’t happen to be connected with Lovejoy Elementary School? Next comes the disclaimers on how Jmyha Richman is not an indication on how 8-year olds behave at our school. The outsiders might wonder if Jmyha has a classmate by the name of Bart Simpson. They might also wonder doesn’t your school system have a campus patrol? Not to be facetious, the girl might possibly have a future starting her own demolition company when she comes of age. However there’s a catch, she has to graduate first. Excuse me, brother Nehemiah, but I got to pull your coat. Jmyha was treated like a criminal because she acted like one. Think about it, do you want to visit her in jail or the juvenile home? She has to clean up her act, until she does, the authorities are going to calling you at your workplace. After a while it is going to get really old having to explain to your supervisor why you have to took off from work again.

  20. Linda on said:

    Had the teachers restrained her, her parents might’ve been talking about abuse and lawsuit. If as stated she was tearing up two classrooms, they school did right by calling the police. This young girls temper tantrum is proof that parenting has changed.

  21. Shakela on said:

    Not being there, we don’t know the situation or past behavior. Police are generally able to respond quicker than calling a parent who may have been at work. No one can physically touch the child and physically restraining her could be dangerous to the child leading to another issue in itself. So handcuffing her where she cannot continue the tantrum I think doesn’t hurt anybody.

  22. There is a thing called, call the child’s parent.Handcuffing the child’s wrist and ankles was a very inappropriate way to handle the situation. I heard the little girl is ADHD, Police need to take classes and learn how to handle children in situations such as this but handcuffing them is not a solution. It’s a wonder they didn’t taze her.

    • CalmTruth on said:

      If they don’t handcuff her now, they WILL be tazing her later. This sort of behavior does not go away on its own. Some times this sort of intervention is required to get the message across.

    • ELLA dont know about you but I pray my kids NEVER have to be exposed to a child like this. Seems she didnt have parents, which is probaly part of the problem. She is 8 now tearing up classroome so in 10 years if she doesnt get help she could possibly be tearing up yur family.

      • buddiejames, I’m sure this isn’t the first time this child has acted out but handcuffs is not the answer. It seems that this child needs some help. This is what’s wrong with our society now, children cry out for help in different ways so people are quick to judge. If the parent won’t seek help for the child then someone need to step in, remember it takes a village to raise a child but people are not like that anymore.

    • And how would you have kept her from acting like a tasmanian devil until the parents arrived? Ask her stop in a firm but calm voice? She would have kicked your ass.

    • And how, pray tell, would you have stopped her from acting like a tasmanian devil until the parents came Ella? Hid behind the desk and asked her to stop in a calm but firm voice? Did you see her picture? She would have kicked your ass.

  23. Alberta on said:

    Certain kids can really get out of hand..but I don’t believe the school to the right measures by calling the police…call the Momma.& the Daddy..dang! When my dad came around you better believe he put me in check..just by plucking my head with his middle finger..I can almost feel it today..Lol he’s been gone 21 years! Plus my dad had a deep voice..he’d say ALBERTA..see can ya’ll hear that? Lol

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s