At Morrell Park Elementary in Baltimore, fighting between students has become an issue. Police officials have led two different seminars on anti-bullying at the school, but the fighting continued. After a recent spat that occurred in a park near the school, police took harsher measures.
According to authorities, one child held another child's head underwater. In another moment, a boy's head was allegedly being held on a railroad track. Due to these actions, four children were arrested. An 8-year-old boy and three 9-year-old girls were taken into custody by police during school hours, and they have been charged with aggravated assault.
Reports indicate that the students were removed from their classes by school administration and taken to the office, where police were waiting to handcuff them. After being taken to the station, each of them was detained for almost 12 hours in a juvenile detention center.
This has many parents arguing over the actions of the authorities. Many believe that what the police chose to do was over the top and unnecessary. Others think that the parents of the children should have been present so that the fight would not have occurred.
The children were arrested nine days after an altercation that supposedly involved them. Police decided to arrest them during school hours, despite the fact that regulations indicate that arrests of students should occur after school hours whenever possible.
According to police, the children who were detained were treated as any other felony suspects would be. But if they did not follow proper procedures when arresting the children, they should be held accountable. Additionally, police should ask what else they can do besides arresting and putting a child in jail to try and improve the situation.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Four children arrested, handcuffed after playground fight," Peter Hermann, Mar. 30, 2012