Overview

Children as young as five years old have been handcuffed, zip-tied, and pepper-sprayed in their schools as a result of public policy loopholes. Unfortunately, the current federal policy landscape surrounding children’s restraints contributes to the trauma of our children, educators, and peace officers. The ‘No Kids in Cuffs’ resolution aims to reframe the national conversation surrounding restraints, to focus exclusively on the welfare of the aforementioned parties.

This resolution and adjacent Texas-based legislation have garnered support from law enforcement organizations, teachers’ unions, parents groups, social workers, juvenile justice experts, and mental health advocates.

“No Kids In Cuffs is an example of a common-sense policy that we can all get behind. School Resource Officers have a sworn duty to protect the well-being of our students and educators, and this measure ensures the well-being of all, including our officers.”

  • Chief David Kimberly, Past President of the Texas School Police Chiefs Association

What does ‘No Kids In Cuffs’ do?

The resolution states that a peace officer or school security personnel performing related duties on school property or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity should not physically, chemically, or mechanically restrain a student 10 years of age or younger unless the student poses a serious risk of harm to themselves or others.

This sets the stage to create clear policy benefitting interventional outcomes for both our educators and peace officers.

Who benefits from this resolution?

Students – In the 2017-2018 school year, 70,833 students were subjected to physical restraint and 3,619 students were subjected to mechanical restraint. 80% of the 74,000+ students subjected to physical restraint had disabilities.

Peace Officers – This legislation relieves personnel from the undue responsibility of deciding when it is appropriate to use restraints or chemical irritant sprays for disruptive children. When a person, in this case, an officer or educator, witnesses someone experiencing trauma they develop a form of trauma called vicarious trauma. This form of trauma is a disruptive consequence of witnessing a traumatic situation, and illicit PTSD symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, difficulty managing emotions, increased irritability, destructive coping or addictive behaviors, depression, anxiety, etc.

Effects of Restraints

Ultimately, child restraint has shown to reaffirm problematic behavior as opposed to resolving it.

Physical restraints trigger short-term problems in sleep, learning, relationships, and trust, which may take years for a child to recover from.

Physical force, such as handcuffs, can create distrust of both authority and adults in general as well as teaching children that disputes can be settled with aggression.

These interactions often lead to students sustaining trauma, which can impede children’s development if it happens at an early age.

Types of Restraints

There are three forms of restraints used in school settings: physical, chemical, and mechanical.

Physical restraints restrict a person’s ability to move their legs, arms, neck, or torso freely by holding a part of their body.

Mechanical restraints restrict movement through a device such as handcuffs or zip-ties.
Chemical restraints inhibit movement through some form of a medicinal sedative or agent such as pepper spray.

Questions?

If your school district or agency is interested in working with us to establish this program for you, please contact us at info@minaretfoundation.com.