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Did Police Put A 6-Year-Old Boy In A Jail Cell During A School Field Trip Recently?

Submitted by on April 23, 2012 – 11:41 amOne Comment
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When the parents of children at the Sunnyside Elementary School signed a permission slip allowing their kids to go on a school field trip recently, they thought the kids were going to the Hillside Public Library and Village Hall. Turns out, that wasn’t where they ended up. Because rather than teaching the 5 and 6-year-olds in a kindergarten class about the Dewey Decimal System, the teachers in charge of the class took the young children to the local Hillside Police Station. And that was only their first mistake.

Once the kids got inside the station, they were treated to the “Motivational and Responsibility Training” program—a program that they allow students to participate in regularly, although those students are usually much, much older than kindergarteners. As part of that program, the young kids were shown guns and ankle bracelet monitors. They walked past jail cells and were allowed to see the beds and toilets inside of them. And, one 6-year-old even said that he was locked up inside of one of the cells, although the police department vehemently denies it. It was enough to get a few of the parents pretty riled up.

“Is this supposed to be a scared-straight tactic?” one mother asked. “For 6-year-olds? I don’t get this. What exactly is Sunnyside School saying—that it is a temporary holding facility for the jailhouse?”

For whatever reason, the school hasn’t really given an explanation as to what the students’ teachers were thinking by bringing them to the police station. The police chief also issued a statement in which he said the 6-year-old was probably just confused. He explained that the holding area of the jail has bars in it, so the child must have thought that that was a jail cell. But, it begs the question: Why bring young kids who could misinterpret the experience to a jail in the first place?

We don’t know. But, we do know one thing. Next year, those teachers won’t be taking the kids back to the police station. And that’s assuming they keep their jobs after the major gaffe they just committed.

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