In a story that is mostly still questions with few concrete answers, a 7-year-old boy was handcuffed by police in Dallas, Texas, and kept in a mental health facility for six days after an outburst at school.
His family is furious, saying that the school and police acted completely out of line and against the system they had set in place in case of such an outburst. The boy's mother, April Obin, told reporters for CBS that her son has ADHD and often disrupts classes at Gabe P. Allen Elementary School. His family has worked with the administration to ensure that there are trained counselors available to help navigate these episodes and that his family is included in any actions taken.
On May 9, Obin's son's mood turned violent, and he began to bang his head against the wall. The other students were in the middle of standardized testing, and reportedly, the little boy's counselor was unavailable, so the school called his mother for help.
"And just like every other day I was called to pick him up that morning, on a Tuesday morning," recounts Obin. "When I got there, where's my baby?"
"Before she could get to the school, the [Dallas Independent School District Police] DISD police department was called, and handcuffed the child and took the child away," Amar Dhillon, Obin's attorney, told CBS DallasFort Worth.
He said that this was absolutely uncalled for.
In addition to the unnecessary use of handcuffs, Dhillon has also accused the DISD of using excessive force on the child. He alleged that there are bruises on the little boy's legs from being beaten with a baton and that a Taser was even used during the incident.
"He did vividly describe being shocked and his body convulsing, and he was very clear about that," Dhillon said.
The police transported the boy to a mental health facility in nearby DeSoto where he was medicated to calm down and kept in the facility's custody until Monday. Although facility authorities fought to keep him with them for 30 days, the child is now back with his family. However, an urgent need for answers remains.
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