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Straight out of the WTF files, 7-year-old student Joseph Anderson (pictured) is traumatized because he was handcuffed at his school, thrown in to an ambulance and then sent to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

When Joseph, a special education student who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, didn’t like the color of an egg he was painting, he became upset.

School staff reportedly told him to calm down, but Joseph allegedly jumped on to one of the tables and continued his tantrum. Here, the story gets murky: Joseph says he repeatedly said, “I just want my Mommy,” but an unnamed source said the little boy was waving scissors and cursing.

Either way, by the time Joseph’s mother, Jessica Anderson, arrived at Queens elementary school P.S. 153 from her job in Manhattan, her son had already been forcibly transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she then learned from a nurse that her child had been handcuffed:

“I was crying. I broke down,” she said. “They know that my son is [in] special ed. It’s like they’re trying to get rid of him, and it worked because I’m not sending him back there.”

Describing her son’s state, Anderson said:

“He was crying and saying, ‘I want Mommy.’ Why handcuff him? Why get the cops involved? He’s only 7.”
Ever since the incident, Joseph, who is speech delayed and is said to have emotional problems, haphazardly wets his pants and cries if he sees or hears an ambulance or the police:

“If he hears an ambulance, he runs under the bed and screams, ‘They’re going to get me,'” said the single Mom. “He’s really traumatized. I don’t let him watch the news anymore, because if he sees cops, he cries.”

Still, City Education Department Spokeswoman Marge Feinberg maintains they made the right decision to cuff the kindergartener:

“The school tried to defuse the situation and then called for outside assistance when there was a concern the child would harm himself or others.”

And the NYPD had this to say:

“[Joseph was] acting in a threatening manner.”

But all I can think about are those pairs of plastic scissors my children use and have brought home from school — you couldn’t cut yourself with those scissors even if you tried.

I completely understand that kids have gotten out of hand in schools. What with the Columbine shootings, adolescent tantrums aren’t what they used to be. Now, instead of just practicing fire drills, my children also practice “Intruder Drills” with their peers to protect against emotionally dysfunctional shooters.

But we are talking about a 7-year-old, who even if he brandished a plastic, blunted-edge scissor, only broke down and begged for his mommy.

If I were Anderson, I would sue. I would sue until each adult present and the policemen who actually handcuffed him were penniless. What? We really can’t restrain a single-digit child anymore? As if he needed restraining. He sounds like he just needed some quiet time with the school counselor so that he could explain how he was feeling and discuss better behavior for next time.

After all, isn’t he in special ed? Doesn’t the school have people on staff — if not within the classroom — to deal with children who have special needs?

Or are they just getting this little black boy ready for a life of prison? You tell me.

Because last time I checked, we were supposed to support and build up our children, not treat them like hardened criminals who have hurt somebody.

If Joseph were mine, I’d surely get him therapy, but on my own, when he got scared, I would hold him in my arms and kiss him tenderly until his worries slipped away. I’d look him in those big brown eyes and tell him each day that he is precious … and loved … and safe. And then I’d remind him that he is going to be somebody great one day.

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