07/08/2010

Statement of Sebastian Weston, father of student

Our 6-year old son's life has been forever changed by this incident. We are here to bring attention to what happened to him and hopefully ensure that it never happens again. No child should ever be treated the way our son was --- especially by the very school we entrusted with him and his education.

Two months ago, after "acting up" in school, my little boy was handcuffed and shackled to a chair by his school. 

We only learned about the incident when he complained one night that his wrists were sore. And, worse, we learned then that this was not the first time it happened. 

These incidents, where our little boy was treated more like an animal than a young child, have affected him greatly. 

He has gone from being a bundle of joy - excited about school and his friends - to now withdrawing into a shell.

Before this happened he was an outgoing and talkative child. After school he would come home, go outside and play and then sit at the table and do his homework.  

All of that has changed.  Now, my son is afraid of school - he fears the school police, with the gun and the handcuffs. He's afraid of his teachers. 

He doesn't want to go outside and play with his friends anymore. He just wants to be alone in his room.  He won't do his homework anymore.  

He is a totally different child.  

His behavior changed so drastically after being handcuffed and shackled, I knew I had to take a stand.  There are other parents out there who have children who might be experiencing the same thing as our son. 

This must stop now. Our children are not animals and should not be treated this way.

In closing, I would like to encourage all concerned parents to get involved in their child's education. Let's take public education out of the hands of those who enforce failing policies and make sure our children are treated with dignity.  If we don't make a change, the future of our children will be doomed.