A Detroit mother is livid because her 13-year-old autistic son was handcuffed and arrested by police officers earlier this week after the boy pulled the school's fire alarm.
Angela Miller told local media that school officials really have to get their act together because this don't make sense." Miller adds that her son, Jerel, "has high-functioning autism, and any other time her son has had trouble at school, she's been called and she's been able to help him over the phone."
The incident occurred earlier this week on Wednesday and school administrators defended the actions taken by school faculty and the police. Chrystal Wilson, Assistant Superintendent of Communications and Marketing for Detroit Public Schools Community District issued the following statement on Friday afternoon:
A student at Thirkell Elementary/Middle School was arrested and therefore handcuffed earlier this week for pulling the fire alarm, as sounding a false alarm is a crime. The student's parent was issued a citation as a result of the false alarm according to district protocol. The district is reviewing the arrest.
In terms of students being arrested across America, the most recent data from the 2013-2014 school year show that "nearly 70,000 students were arrested in a small share of America's public schools — about 8,000 schools. While every state had arrests in that year, most individual schools did not report any arrests." The numbers for the state of Michigan, where Jerel attends school in Detroit, show that arrests in public schools are very rare. In the 2013-2014 school year, just 566 students out of 1,568,911 were arrested, or .036 of the state's total student population.
Video from the local news report can be seen here: