The parents of a 7-year-old boy who was handcuffed while being transported to a Florida hospital are distressed about the treatment of their young son.
In a video posted by the child’s mom to Facebook, the 7-year-old can be seen stepping out of a Miami-Dade Schools police officer’s patrol car as he is escorted by police into Miami Children’s Hospital after he allegedly assaulted a teacher.
The student was being taken for a mental health examination under the Baker Act, a law that allows for involuntary examination.
“I had to see my 7-year-old son handcuffed by a school official,” the child’s mother, Mercy Alvarez, wrote about the incident on Facebook. “A 7-year-old child shouldn’t have to live a situation like this.”
The child was reportedly in the school’s cafeteria earlier that day when a teacher told him “not to play with his food,” according to an incident report.
The report says the boy was told repeatedly by his female teacher that “if he was to continue to play with [his food] instead of eating it, to throw it away.”
He then allegedly attacked the teacher, repeatedly punching her in the back in a school hallway, the report says.
The teacher was able to restrain the boy but he allegedly “continued to fight her with his fists and legs” and both the teacher and the child fell to the ground.
Eventually he was restrained and taken to the principal’s office, the report said.
The teacher later said her “back was hurting” and she “wanted to press charges,” according to the report.
After the incident, the boy was placed in handcuffs and taken to the hospital. His family denied he has any mental illness and said he is a victim of bullying.
Al Palacio, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police for Miami-Dade Schools Police, said the case is being internally investigated, but that handcuffing the child was in line with department protocols.
“It’s unfortunate for everyone involved, but the officer acted well within her scope of duty,” he told InsideEdition.com.
Alvarez said she thinks the handcuffs were too harsh for her son, who later apologized to the teacher for his actions.