Arrests of US children on the rise

World Today

A student was arrested after he refused to move to the front of the school bus. More than 800,000 views.

The bus driver thought the boy was smoking-and asked him to move up front. When he wouldn’t budge, the driver called the cops. These videos have alarmed many in this country. They wonder: are too many U.S. schools too quick to resort to handcuffs instead of detention?

CCTV America’s Hendrick Sybrandy reports.

Arrests of US children on the rise

School arrests are on the rise in the United States - and race appears to be a big factor. Are U.S. schools too quick to resort to handcuffs instead of detention?

A number of U.S. students – and their parents – consider school arrests excessive. 

Last October in Denver, the principal of Northfield High School approached 14-year-old Ashanti Mills.

Her offense? A dress code violation. She was wearing the wrong color bandana.

“The police came into the office and stood in front of me where I was sitting told me that I was under arrest,” Mills said “They forced my arms behind my back and put handcuffs on me.”

Watch the footage from the school bus

Ashanti was charged as a juvenile with third degree assault and interfering with school officials. Shocking to her and her family certainly, but a more common occurrence in the U.S. than many people realize.

A 2012 study published by the medical journal, Pediatrics, reported one in three American youth have been arrested by the age of 23, resulting in a destructive and unhealthy start in life, the authors state.

The Denver Foundation’s Sarah Park says school arrests are on the rise, and race appears to be a big factor.

“Young people of color are getting suspended or expelled and ticketed and arrested for the same behaviors for which their white peers often receive no consequence,” Park said. “Kids who are suspended or expelled are three and-a-half times as likely to end up involved with the criminal justice system in the coming year.”

Critics like Park say this so-called ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ is priming kids for more serious trouble.

Denver authorities say students must be held accountable for their behavior but recognize it’s also important to strike a balance.

As for Ashanti, charges against her were dropped. Two officials involved in her incident left the school soon after.

As the video shows, there are other reasons to make a call to police a school’s last resort. American students may be at risk of both physical and psychological injury.