Police in Schools

Florida Police Officer Fired After Arresting a 6-Year-Old Girl for Throwing a Temper Tantrum

Another example of the school-to-prison pipeline, which mislabels kids as criminals.


[Update: Dennis Turner, the Florida officer who arrested two elementary school children, has been fired. The battery charges against both students have been dropped. Police also clarified that both children arrested were 6-years-old; they originally described one child as 8-years old.]

A 6-year-old girl was arrested at an Orlando, Florida, charter school last week after she threw a temper tantrum and kicked a staff member.

The student—a first grader named Kaia Rolle—was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police cruiser, and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center, where she was fingerprinted and had her mugshot taken.

Meralyn Kirkland, the girl's grandmother, told WKMG that Kaia has sleep apnea and that she informed the officer, Dennis Turner, that the family was working to address it.

"Well, I have sleep apnea, and I don't behave like that," the officer allegedly responded.

The same cop arrested another 6-year-old that day, although the reason has not been disclosed. Both apprehensions violated departmental policy, which stipulates that no minor under age 12 should be arrested without approval from a supervisor.

Turner's actions, while ridiculous, indicate the prevalence of the school-to-prison pipeline, a troubling trend nationwide where zero-tolerance disciplinary procedures are quick to mislabel kids as criminals. Part of the problem involves overly harsh school suspension and expulsion policies, according to the Justice Policy Institute; in recent years, administrators have been increasingly encouraged or required to remove students from school over minor offenses. Just last July, an eighth grader attending school in Maryland was banned from coming to school for three weeks—the remainder of the school year—after he shared a photo of himself on Snapchat in which his friend was holding a disabled Airsoft gun.

The problem isn't isolated. Every second and a half, a public school student in the U.S. is suspended.

But excessive in-school punishments are just one of the many factors contributing to the pipeline. The increased presence of resource officers—law enforcement officials who are posted at schools for crime prevention—has also played a major role, with those schools pushing disciplinary duties onto the police. As was the case in Orlando, such interactions often end in an arrest, even when the underlying offense didn't merit one. Schools with officers have five times as many arrests as those that don't, even when controlling for poverty level.

Minority students are disproportionately more likely to fall into the pipeline: Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times higher than their white peers. And those who do find themselves kicked out of school for a discretionary violation are about three times more likely to enter the confines of the juvenile justice system by the following year.

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  1. “schools pushing disciplinary duties onto the police”

    And what are the reasons for that? Multi-causal, I’m sure, but one cause I think is the handcuffing (so to speak) of the public schools when it comes to administering discipline. Teachers don’t have the special aura which surrounds cops, so they can get sued for restraining or (Lord forbid) spanking an unruly student. So why not hire cops to do the dirty work, since cops’ protective aura allows them to do all sorts of stuff either without fear of legal consequences, or with the assurances that the consequences will be visited on the taxpayer not the individual officer.

    “Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times higher than their white peers.”

    This is an example of what (paraphrasing Thomas Sowell) is the fallacy of assuming that the origin of a social problem measured in statistics comes from the specific place where the statistics are measured. That is, measure school suspension rates, see lots of black kids suspended, conclusion: racism.

    This exempts the critic from the need to ask awkward questions like “what are the comparative misbehavior rates of black versus nonblack kids?” – thus leaving the field to the alt-right with their genetic explanations when (again borrowing from Sowell) there are perfectly valid cultural explanations which need to be considered before we get to looking at the genetics.

    1. Also, are we exploring *why* the kind of students who keep finding themselves suspended from school also find themselves in the criminal justice system? Is it a “pipeline” installed in the school, or maybe the students who do the kinds of things which gets them kicked of school are also the students who do the kinds of things which get them arrested?

      1. Or maybe you’re a fucking retard, Eddy.
        Try taking the salty cop balls out of your mouth and think for a minute.

        1. You sound like a colossal imbecile

        2. This is truly a forum for nuanced discussion.

          The nuance is that criticism of unruly kids means approving everything any policeman ever does.

        3. Wow, you’re a fucking idiot.

    2. Part of the problem is that its difficult to answer questions like “what are the comparative misbehavior rates of black versus nonblack kids?” without looking at the (now poisoned) well of suspension and expulsion rates, which similarly leaves the field open to the SJWs to proclaim that any apparent differences in misbehavior rates are simply artifacts caused by the racist differential punishments applied to white students vs nonwhite students

      1. Technically, I pointed out the relevance of the issue of behavioral problems, and the silliness of jumping to “racism!” without some actual evidence beyond the fact that reality diverges from a certain ideological pattern.

        I mean, logically, it *could* be racism, but to prove that you’d have to dig deeper and not just assume the conclusion.

      2. If you looked at the rates of misbehavior between single and multi parent families you’d probably get similar results.

        1. Three-parent families have the best behaved children.

          1. Your link fell off. Maybe it’s in the common room of your airbnb.

            Make sure you use replicated research.

            1. I am literally LMFAO!!!! So amused!

          2. Larry: Want to go catch a movie?

            Jack Tripper: A nun is in love with me!

            Larry: Sounds kinky. Where’s it playing?’

            Three’s Company for millennials!

    3. re: “Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times higher than their white peers.”

      You are reading more into the article than is there. You said “measure school suspension rates, see lots of black kids suspended, conclusion: racism.” I see no such conclusion anywhere in the article above. The most you can legitimately conclude from the article above is disparate impact.

      1. “We’re not saying it’s racist but…it’s racist.”

        1. I just noticed the link with which Reason accompanied its comments about black student suspensions. It’s to an ACLU page which has this gem: “Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline.”

          So contrary to your suggestion, I will continue to insist that it’s not a warm summer rain hitting my leg.

  2. The public schools are so SJW-controlled that it’s next to impossible to get a minority student disciplined; if they start a fight with a white person, whitey automatically gets the blame. If minority students are really being disciplined at 3x the rate of whites it probably means they’re offending at 30 or more times the rate of whites.

    What we need is cameras everywhere, and actual trials, whether it’s the school or (for older juveniles) an actual court that does the judging. Because until then the system is mostly punishing the innocent. And it does matter. I learned in high school never to trust any form of government or institutional “justice”, and as long as the system doesn’t care about producing real justice it will continue to earn and receive this kind of distrust.

    1. I don’t know where you went to school, but that doesn’t match my experience.

      The issue of race is complicated though…. despite busing and decades of desegregation, a major chunk of black kids go to majority black schools. And those majority black schools mostly have a black administration and a black SRO. And that black principle and that black SRO are both very often hard-ass types.

      It all depends on what the parents will tolerate, I suppose.

      Many poor school districts suffer from lack of parent involvement and a “warehousing” mentality. In my experience that is true regardless of skin tone.

      We have a mostly black public school nearby that is very good – the teachers and administration are very good…. why? Because the parents are super-involved. It is in a gay neighborhood, so the local kids only make up a small percentage of the population. The rest are transfers from bad schools nearby.

      Which means that their parents are the type to get involved and petition to get their kid in a better school. Guess what? Those kids are not behavior problems. They have parents who make sure they are doing well. And those same parents are involved at the school – so the administration makes sure that everything is running properly they way the parents want it run.

      You know what they don’t have? Some out of control SRO handcuffing kids. The kids are great and they all head of to the top magnet programs when they finish that school. Because that’s what mom and dad demand.

      With schools there is one and only one controlling factor. Good parents = good schools.

      Unfortunately, what that looks like in the real world is richer (on average). Which is easily explained by examples on the extremes:

      Mom and Dad are both PhD’s who have C-level jobs making hundreds of thousands. They find a rich prep school for their kids.
      Mom and Dad expect straight A’s and an elite college. Nobody is impressed until you are in your graduate program.

      Mom and Dad are in and out of prison, Grandma is raising the kids and she never finished school or had a job better than night janitor. Kids go to the local (terrible) school and nobody checks on their work, nobody meets the teachers and nobody notices when they quit going to school.

      Put those same parents in the opposite schools, and you aren’t going to see an appreciable difference. Sure, you might get the random genetic freak from the poor neighborhood who has the innate drive to take advantage of the opportunity, and you might find the odd rich boy who is dumb as a stump and despite his parents best efforts falls in with the wrong crowd and ends up in jail… but on average it is the parents that make the difference.

      1. Too bad there is no way to remove kids from these toxic environments and place them with good families.

  3. The schools seem to have a Messiah complex, thinking they must focus on reclaiming the one lost sheep while the 99 remaining sheep sit around not learning anything because the environment is so disruptive.

    At least put the persistently-disruptive kids in a special class with Mr. Buzzcut the football coach as the teacher – the better-behaved students can be put in less drama-prone regular classes. And if having Mr. Buzzcut as a teacher doesn’t improve their behavior…I don’t know the answer, but it’s not not allowing the disruptors to ruin things for the students willing to learn, and the teachers willing to teach.

    1. Mr. Buzzcut is transgender right?

      1. No, no, that’s Mr. Buzzcunt.

  4. I’m sorry but NPR has conditioned me to ignore anything that comes out of someones mouth it follows the term “school to prison pipeline” because without fail it’s retarded.

    1. I am sorry you haven’t learned to ignore NPR at all times.

      1. It’s important to understand counterarguments.

        1. “you’re a racist”

          There. Now you can never NPR again.

        2. Dont they have to make logical arguments for you to counter?

  5. Once, when I was in the second or third grade, one teacher tried to hold one of my classmates while the other paddled him. The one doing the holding got a strange look on her face, whirled around and walked out of the room. I found out years later that he had bitten her soundly on the inner thigh.

  6. Truth in headlines committee reports the following:
    “6-year old girl arrested for assault”
    She was NOT arrested for throwing a temper tantrum.
    Pay attention Billy. Someone might conclude you are a clickbait troll.

    (Just for the record; lots of guys who got a federally funded all expense paid tour of southeast asia a while back can testify that 6 year olds can also throw explosives.)

    1. Yeah, I’m sure this girl’s elementary school is comparable to the Vietnam War. They’re the same thing.

      1. “…this girl’s elementary school is comparable to the Vietnam War.”

        For sure. This little girl blew up and kids in Vietnam blew up too. Granted, the Vietnamese kid was booby-trapped but they did both literally blow up. Yeah, “literally” does not mean what you think any more. Snopes ranks the use of “literally” here as truthful.

    2. I saw she was arrested for battery, but what the fuck, it is still a child just throwing a tantrum.

      1. Yup. Or else there would be a whole lot of people with domestic violence convictions from their childhood.

        And generally in the American legal system a child under 7 is not considered responsible for their own actions.

  7. What do you get when you combine Jabba the Hutt with an Oompaloompa?

    1. Intellectual property litigation?

      1. Ok, you got me. I LOLd.

    2. What do you get when you cross Batman with an elephant?

      1. Q: What do you get when you cross an ephelump and a rhinoceros?

        A: EllifIknow!

  8. Yeah, I’m really not sure what schools are supposed to do. If you strip the school of any effective mechanism for punishing a kid, disallow them from physically stopping a kid from throwing a temper tantrum, then what else are they expected to do?

    1. Well lets start by following the rules as prescribed. From what I read the officer was suppose to detain the child and then call a supervisor to have them authorize arrest. The officer failed to get authorization.

      But yes, I agree teachers should have more latitude in restraining an unruly child.

    2. No one is prohibited from physically stopping a child throwing a tantrum. You can’t beat the kid, but you can restrain them. And a 6 year old throwing a tantrum is about 3 minutes worth of restraint, followed by ten minutes of cooling down. Anyone who arrests a 6 yr old should be charged with child abuse.

  9. Arresting 6 year-olds is part of an unofficial program to get kids scared straight…into hating the police. A+

    I saw the mom’s interview. Not for nothing but where’s is the little girl’s police provided trauma toy to make it all better? Well, now the cop will be able to dismissively compare his PTSD and sleep apnea symptoms with the girl.

  10. Simple fix is, get rid of public schools. Then parents can send their money and their kids to where the customers are the bosses.

    Where do you get better services, at your local grocery store, or at the DMV?

    Well, good luck to us all (as libertarians “us” at least) getting rid of public schools! Ain’t gonna happen soon! Maybe we could at least cut down on endless degrees and licenses and credentials needed to work, in the first place? THAT would help for starters!

    1. “Then parents can send their money and their kids to where the customers are the bosses.”

      Unless you decide the schools are bigoted at which point you’ll enslave them.

      1. All I can say to that is, as a paying customer, I would NEVER let ANYONE who is vaguely Tulpa-like ANYWHERE near my kid!

        As a public-school customer, I have to persuade 51% (or more) of the voters of the obvious truth that evil Tulpa-like assholes should NOT be in the teaching business, before common sense can prevail!

        1. Right but you literally said if they were bigoted it was OK to enslave them.

          Shall I quote you AGAIN?

          1. “SQRLSY One
            September.22.2019 at 10:42 am
            Nobody ever died for lack of a cake. Laws about non-bigot-driven access to emergency rooms, OK then. Hotels & restaurants, essential for travelling, OK then”

            Fuck off slaver.

          2. Please retreat to your fantasy world where passing ANY law is enslaving us all. Please enjoy yourself there (and also stop bothering us, would be nice, too).

            I for one don’t want any part of your fantasy world. Since you are evil, I’m quite sure that your fantasy world will be evil, as well.

            1. “SQRLSY One
              September.22.2019 at 10:42 am
              Nobody ever died for lack of a cake. Laws about non-bigot-driven access to emergency rooms, OK then. Hotels & restaurants, essential for travelling, OK then”

              Fuck off slaver.

    2. Like the unions will ever let that happen.

    3. Where do you get better services, at your local grocery store, or at the DMV?

      Where do you get better services, your doctor’s office or the DMV?

      Bernie Sanders: I know! Let’s turn your doctor’s office into the DMV!

  11. Man, when we talk about the “school to prison pipeline”, I don’t think of six year-olds getting flushed straight into the prison end of that bargain.

  12. Cant be any worse of a tantrum than that Greta person who spoke to the u.n.

  13. From the photo, I’m guess the one on the left runs the family.

    That’s probably the crux of the issue.

  14. “6-Year-Old Girl Arrested for Throwing a Temper Tantrum.”

    This six year deserves to get arrested for throwing a tantrum.
    Federal law specifically states you have to be at least 18 years old to throw a tantrum and have an authorized federal tantrum license issued by an authentic Tantrum Bureau official.
    Hopefully, this child will get life without parole as an example to other kids who throw tantrums without a legal waiver.
    Book ’em, Danno!

  15. Well maybe her parents shouldn’t have let her travel all the way from Sweden to address the UN about climate change.

  16. If non-whites (which really means black and mestizos, as Asians don’t get affected) are disproportionately punished, it’s because they disproportionately lack impulse control and misbehave.

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