ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A 5-year-old girl was arrested, cuffed and put in back of a police cruiser after an outburst at school where she threw books and boxes, kicked a teacher in the shins, smashed a candy dish, hit an assistant principal in the stomach and drew on the walls.
The students were counting jelly beans as part of a math exercise at Fairmount Park Elementary School (search) when the little girl began acting silly. That's when her teacher took away her jelly beans, outraging the child.
Minutes later, the 40-pound girl was in the back of a police cruiser, under arrest for battery. Her hands were bound with plastic ties, her ankles in handcuffs.
"I don't want to go to jail," she said moments after her arrest Monday.
No charges were filed and the girl went home with her mother.
While police say their actions were proper, school officials were not pleased with the outcome.
"We never want to have 5-year-old children arrested," said Michael Bessette, the district's Area III superintendent.
The district's campus police should have been called to help and not local police, he said.
Bessette said campus police routinely deal with children and are trained to calm them in such situations.
Under the district's code of student conduct, students are to be suspended for 10 days and recommended for expulsion for unprovoked attacks, even if they don't result in serious injury. But district spokesman Ron Stone said that rule wouldn't apply to kindergartners.
"She's been appropriately disciplined under the circumstances," he said.
The girl's mother, Inda Akins, said she is consulting an attorney.
"She's never going back to that school," Akins said. "They set my baby up."