A third grader in Espanola, New Mexico was arrested for disorderly conduct, handcuffed and sent to an adult jail. He’d raised his voice to a teacher after hitting a classmate with a basketball.

(The boy’s mother, Angelica) Esquibel, who works next door to the school, said she was called to the office, and that Jerry began crying and saying he wanted to go home.

She said a school counselor wanted him to return to class, and that when the boy ran outside and started crying louder, the counselor told him if he wasn’t going to be in school, she was going to call police.

The counselor told him officers would handcuff him and put him in a cell “until he changes his attitude,” Esquibel said.

Guillen said he’d been told the mother agreed police should be called. She said she told school officials not to call them.

Two officers tried to tell Jerry to go back to class and told him he had a choice — class or jail, Esquibel said. When the boy got upset and loud, they handcuffed him, she said.

The police report says Jerry was arrested, taken to jail, booked and released to his parents.

Esquibel said that when she arrived at the police station, he was standing against a wall, crying.

He told her he was placed “in a dark room with a window, a metal toilet and a metal sink,” and that inmates banged on the window “saying they were going to get him and cussing,” she said. He said officers told him to stop crying or they’d let the inmates get him, she said.

This was a little boy throwing a temper tantrum.

About Joanne


  1. I know that only the “man bites dog” stories show
    up, but I’d still expect someone along the way to show the intelligence of a flatworm. I guess having the school officials be stupid isn’t so surprising, but having the police actually arrest the kid? I hope they get yelled at by someone in authority in their department…

  2. The so called adults involved (counselor and then police) are IDIOTS! They, and IN PARTICULAR the so called conselor desperately need parenting classes. Either they have no experience raising kids, or – God help THEIR kids – are incompetent. First directives of parenting include:
    Never make a threat (“you are going to jail”) you won’t follow through on. Obviously they did, and backed themselves into a corner at the child’s expense!
    What rational ADULT would send a kid to jail over a temper tantrum when he was obviously upset in the first place and then threatened with police, jail, and handcuffs (for an 8 year old!!!) which, in my opinion of most any 8 year old, only upset him more. I won’t even address exposing an upset 8 year old to an adult jail cell and prisoners!


  3. Is this the socialization they’re always worried that homeschooled will miss out on?

  4. homeschooled kids

  5. Doug Sundseth says:

    This is felony child abuse. It is time some of the “responsible” parties in this matter find out about the inside of jail cells.

  6. Given the choice between school and jail, I would have had the same reaction as Jerry.

  7. Given the choice between that school and jail, I should not hesitate to choose the latter (with apologies to Thomas Jefferson).

  8. Mike from Illinois says:

    If you would prefer jail, you’ve never been in jail.

  9. P. K. Pruitt says:

    Why didn’t they call the mother?…wait a minute, they did.

    What didn’t the mother take charge of the situation and correct HER child?…she didn’t.

    Yes, I think calling the police was idiotic but let’s not forget about Mom.

  10. I’ve gotta disagree here. Think that Jerry will hit another kid with a basketball? Only if Mom sues. . .
    Yes, I am an advocate of being scared strait. I was caught shoplifting at 3, and that was seared, seared into my brain.

  11. Mike from Illinois says:

    Scared straight, maybe, but adult jail with abusive thugs for a three-year-old is abusive. Period. Those cops should be put up on charges.

  12. I caught my son shoplifting, I made him confess to the manager and give every toy he owned to the poor. I wanted him to understand how it ‘felt’ to have your things taken away from you. I wanted him to face the people he took things from, look them in the eye and tell them what he did publically. I don’t think he was scared, but I do think he was frequently reminded of the gravity of his crime.

    This is monsterous, evil, wrong! In the end this 8 year old child when to an adult prison because he cried. He understands that!

  13. If you would prefer jail, you’ve never been in jail.

    Only as a visitor. But given the choice between the two options, throwing a bigger tantrum seemed a reasonable response.

  14. Frightening. A stark testimony on the state of affairs in the bankrupt states of the USA. Our infrastructure is falling apart and the more we ignore the question of race relations, the worse it will become.

    The supremacist elite think that the minorities will self-destruct and go swirling down the drain, but little do they realize that the vortex of the drainage will take them down as well. We are better together and loving each other than apart and despising each other.

    This empire will not last another decade before crashing beneath financial market economic disaster because of corporate greed and a hedonistic typhoon because of the decision to make moral relativism the order of the day.

    Chicken Little this is not…

  15. I disagree with Poet, above. I don’t see this as a metaphor for the destruction of our civilization. That said, I’d be curious to know on what charge the police thought they could arrest him on.

  16. RP I submit to you that if one or more police officers have been “dumbed down” to the point that they willingly arrest a third grader, handcuff and take him to jail and make degrading comments to the child as well, then that alone is indication of a society teetering on chaos.

    We have a President saying one thing one day, another thing the next. He knows the populace is so “dumbed down” that no one will make much of a fuss because no one really understands what is REALLY happening in their neighborhood, let alone national politics. Combine that with arresting a third grader and anyone can see that the wise have left or better be leaving now for the hills.

  17. Espanola is a crazy place. Espanola jokes are a mainstay of northern New Mexico regional humor.

    Q: What do you call a guy in Espanola, walking down the street with a sheep under each arm? A: A pimp.

    A couple from Espanola drove out to the countryside on a date. They parked, and things got hot and heavy. Pretty soon the girl said, “Oh Juan, kiss me in the dirty place”. So he drove her back to Espanola.

    There are many more.

  18. Poet,

    Are you sure you don’t want to implicate Cheney and Halliburton too? Quick! Was that Karl Rove in the corner???? 🙂

  19. Now all the child’s family needs is John Edwards as trial lawyer, and one of those coaches who trains children to have false sex abuse memories. They should be able to convert an annoying child’s temper tantrum into a lifetime meal ticket. And they thought he’d never amount to anything.

    “You see they took me in a back room that was dark with metal toilets and sinks, and they did mean things with animals and circus clowns and men in space suits . . . .”

  20. theAmericanist says:

    Reality check: I’VE called the cops on a kid who was misbehaving in school. He was 9 years old.

    I don’t know anything about this case, beyond what JJ says about it and the story. I don’t think anybody else posting here does, either.

    But I do know from personal experience that some of the most emotionally disturbed, apparently unable to control themselves kids can suddenly control their actions when confronted with a real alternative that they don’t like.

    Kids can get in the habit of accepting, even expecting negative consequences. Disrupting class, violence toward peers and teachers — those are all ways to control a situation. When it becomes genuine violence — even for kids who are WAY too young — they need to know that they can’t get away at 16 with the stuff they’ve been doing at 12… or 9.

    I dunno about you guys, but I wouldn’t want to read in the paper that an ex-student of mine was killed by the police at 16 when he acted toward cops at a traffic stop the way he acted toward me over his homework.

    I’ve had to physically restrain a kid who was trying to hurt me (kick, punch, bit, stab), giving every sign of being utterly out of control … and I’ve seen that same kid freeze in mid kick, when another adult told him, flat out, that if he struck HER, she’d have him arrested and charged with assault.

    In perhaps the most macho moment of my life, I called the cops on this same kid one day — and had two female cops show up — to show the kid his choice was simple: he behaved, or he got cuffs put on him and got in the back seat. His parents (frequently called to the school; no change in his behavior) would have to pick him up from jail.

    It worked. Dis those who’ve faced the choice if you want — but don’t be so sure it was the wrong choice, either.

  21. tA,

    Sorry! This (if the story is correct) was not proper. Period!

  22. Grandmothers arrested ( and jailed ) for driving TOO SLOWLEY…!! Eight year olds arrested ( and jailed ) for temper tantrums …!! Your government extols the virtues of American “FREEDOM” around the world( at the expense of American servicemens’ lives )…!! God bless you folks – but surely its time to question who EXACTLY is enjoying this “FREEDOM”….?


  1. hoodia patch says:

    hoodia patch

    He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare