From St. Petersburg, Florida, here’s a fascinating story about an assistant principal’s patient attempt to reason with an out-of-control kindergartener. Finally, she called the police, who handcuffed the 5-year-old girl, and sat her in a squad car until her mother arrived. It’s all on videotape.
Videotape was rolling March 14 when the 5-year-old girl swung again and again, her bantam punches landing on the outstretched palms of Nicole Dibenedetto, the new assistant principal at Fairmount Park Elementary.
She tore papers off Dibenedetto’s bulletin board and desk. She climbed on a table four times. About an hour had passed since she refused to participate in a kindergarten math lesson, which escalated into a series of defiant and destructive acts.
Dibenedetto had used tactics from a Pinellas school district training called Crisis Prevention Intervention:
Let the child know her actions have consequences but also try to “de-escalate.”
Give her opportunities to end the conflict.
Try not to touch her, defend yourself and make sure no one else gets hurt.
I think the moral is that school staffers should be authorized to restrain a child physically, so they’re not tempted to call in the police, who have little experience in dealing with kindergarten tantrums.
Of course, the wild child’s mother is suing.