The door to the principal’s office opened suddenly. Mercy Álvarez turned and watched a Miami-Dade Schools Police officer enter to take her 7-year-old son into custody. Pain pierced her heart when her son was handcuffed. “Do not worry, my love,” she muttered to him, her voice choked with tears. By Daniel Shoer Roth
It was the second time in less than three months that school authorities punished her son by calling the police for behavioral problems. On this occasion, the boy supposedly hit the teacher after a scolding, according to the police report.
A tantrum, for sure. But a sanction that Álvarez considers disproportionate and outrageous.
“This is police abuse; a whim of the officer, because my son was calm when they came to look for him,” says the mother, an independent television and radio producer, speaking to el Nuevo Herald. “The principal, the counselor, and two other people tried to prevent that action and the officer took the child anyway.”