What exactly are kids learning in school nowadays? CNN reports on controversy over the use of police force on students for minor infractions in classrooms:
There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 ” scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker. Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.
Alexa’s hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and her classmates. “They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn’t believe it,” Alexa recalled. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person.”
The case of the doodling preteen is raising concerns about the use of zero tolerance policies in schools. Alexa’s case isn’t the first in the New York area. One of the first cases to gain national notoriety was that of Chelsea Fraser. In 2007, the 13-year-old wrote “Okay” on her desk, and police handcuffed and arrested her. She was one of several students arrested in the class that day; the others were accused of plastering the walls with stickers.
At schools across the country, police are being asked to step in. In November, a food fight at a middle school in Chicago, Illinois, resulted in the arrests of 25 children, some as young as 11, according to the Chicago Police Department.