Stop The Handcuffs! Petition With 12,000+ Signatures Delivered

Last week, reported on a Mississippi School that was routinely handcuffing students as punishment for minor misbehavior. A petition, demanding that Jackson Public Schools stop this horribly inappropriate punishment,  received over 12,000 signatures. Monday, former Capital City Alternative School student Anthony Willis and his mother Jacqueline Willis presented the petition to the Jackson Public School Board.

Students at the Capital City Alternative School were allegedly handcuffed for minor issues like not wearing a belt or greeting a friend too loudly in the hallway. Jody Owens, from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi office was quoted by AlterNet as saying: “Not only does this handcuffing policy violate the U.S. Constitution but it demonstrates a diseased school culture and a broken model of school discipline that focuses on criminalizing students at the expense of educating them.”

The petition and the stories of the abuse these students suffered were jointly shared and promoted by national advocacy organizations and According to Emily Logan, Care2 Online Campaigner, Care2 is “proud to partner with on this important issue.”

Jacqueline Willis, the mother of one of the affected students, noted that “concerned people from across the nation are calling on the JPS school board to protect our students from brutal shackling.” She also expressed her hope that the “school board will take immediate action and protect our students from further abuse.”

In addition to the petition, the Southern Poverty Law Center has also filed a federal class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after the school district refused to respond to a letter asking it to stop the practice of shackling students for hours at a time to poles and railings.

The school board apparently did not comment on the petition during the open portion of the meeting, but they did have a closed session scheduled to talk about the lawsuit. According to the Clarion Ledger, the district has to file a response to the lawsuit within 21 days of it being filed. They have not yet filed that response. Others, such as attendee John Garner, feel that school administrators “should be identifying these problems long before they become (lawsuits)” (source: Clarion Ledger).

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Photo credit: Jed Oppenheim, Southern Poverty Law Center



Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Lawsuits will persuade the school board.

Yvette T.
Past Member 5 years ago

Unacceptable! How did any one imagine that they could do such a thing????

Lynda H.
Lynda Harrison5 years ago

Are we sure this is happening in 21st Century America??? You can't be serious!!!

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

I signed this. It should be against the law anyplace. If a parent had done this at home, kids would be taken away and parents jailed in In.

Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga5 years ago

Where i live the abuse would result in arrest jail for school staff who deploy handcuffs,
their assets being confiscated to compensate the victims.
Not in America apparently, where torture and war crimes are just business as usual.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

I hope that the school board recognise that they are supposed to be educated and recognise, as 12,000 people already did, that handcuffing children is wrong and totally inappropriate.

ReElectBarack Obama
Past Member 5 years ago

Thank you.

Bruce Storrs Jr
Bruce Storrs Jr5 years ago

is it not a matter of capital punishment with out due proses of the law.also crule and unuseul punishement which violtes thier consatutional rights

Ambi V.
Ambi Victoria5 years ago

Mississippi, figures that it would be a sourthern state among many in that region of the south and even the midwest that like to condone acts and laws that are unethical and which usually lack respect and consideration for human rights.
But our northern states have their major unlawful tactics and issues as well.