Police hospitalize 7-year-old under Baker Act

Posted: February 18th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian

Yet another reason not to put your kids in publik skul.

by Jonathan Abel, St. Petersburg Times

LARGO — Police this week removed an unruly 7-year-old from his classroom and forced him to be hospitalized under the state’s Baker Act — against the wishes of his outraged parents.

The boy spent the night alone at Morton Plant Hospital before he was seen by a child psychologist the next day and discharged.

“This is a total abuse of police power,” said the boy’s father, Richard Smith, 41. “My son has no mental health problems. He’s never hurt himself. He’s never hurt anyone else.”

Smith and his wife, Barbara, said they want to consult a lawyer.

But Largo deputy police Chief John Carroll said his officers did the right thing.

By all accounts, the second-grader threw a tantrum at Mildred Helms Elementary on Wednesday. Carroll said the boy tore up the room during his fit. In the process, he stepped on a teacher’s foot and “battered” a school administrator.

Carroll said the tantrum was so bad that school officials had to evacuate students from the classroom.

School officials called the parents and police. When officers arrived, they decided the boy needed a mental health examination.

This was not the first time the boy had acted up, Carroll said, and the lead officer, Michael Kirkpatrick, decided the boy couldn’t just go home again with his mother.

Read the rest here.

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