Here we go again. In footage released this week from a 2019 incident, police officers assigned to a school in Colorado arrested an 11-year-old boy with autism for scratching a classmate with a pencil. 

According to the Denver Post, an officer “grabbed him by the back of the neck, left him for two hours in a patrol car—where he banged his head repeatedly against plexiglass—and then booked him into a juvenile jail.” 

The boy, identified in an ACLU lawsuit by his initials of A.V., had been calm with school officials until the resource officers intervened. The Post has more:

The school resource officers arrested the child on suspicion of assault, harassment and resisting arrest, and the boy’s parents had to post a $25,000 bond to get the boy out of child jail, according to the lawsuit. The charges were later dropped.

The article notes A.V. refused to eat after being bailed out. He had bruises all over his body. 

Assaults like this keep happening for students with disabilities and students of color especially. 

Whether it’s a 6-year-old being arrested for a “tantrum,” an officer body slamming a high schooler in class, or A.V.’s case, there is persistent evidence of discipline disparities for already-underserved students in schools across the country.

Learn more about discipline for Black students with Citizen Ed’s past coverage here:

Learn more about the importance of mentors, not discipline, here: 

On Citizen Ed’s Facebook Live, catch the upcoming month long series on the school-to-prison pipeline on Talk Dat Real Sh*t.


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