11-Year-Old Arrested, Thrown In Jail, For Drawing Stick Figure

In the past few days, I’ve written about a nine-year-old suspended for sticking a “Kick Me” post-it on a classmate, and a six-year-old sent to a psychiatric ward for penning a violent drawing.

Today I heard about an eleven-year-old who last October was arrested and hauled away in handcuffs for drawing a stick figure in school. Ironically, this was exactly what his therapist had told him to do.

Draw Pictures When You Are Upset

The student, in Arvada, Colorado, is being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder, and his therapist told him to draw pictures when he got upset, rather then disrupt his class. So he followed directions.

From KWGN in Denver:

Last October, he drew stick figures of himself with a gun, pointed at four other stick figures with the words “teacher must die.”

He felt calmer and was throwing the picture away when the teacher saw it and sent him to the principal’s office.

The school was aware that the boy was in treatment, determined he was not a threat, notified his parents and sent him back to class. His mother, “Jane” was shocked when Arvada Police showed up at their home later that night.

She says she told her son to cooperate and tell the truth, but was horrified when they told her they were arresting him and then handcuffed him and hauled him away in a patrol car. His mother says she begged police to let her drive her son to the police department and to let her stay with him through the booking process but they refused.

Hauled Off To Jail, Photographed, Fingerprinted

After that, they put him in a cell, took his mug shot and fingerprinted him. He says he thought he was going to jail and would never be able to go home again.

“Tim” is charged with a third degree misdemeanor, interfering with staff and students at an educational facility. The system says it’s acting in everyone’s best interests, but Tim’s therapist says handcuffing an 11-year-old and putting him in a cell is over-reacting and does more harm than good.

“Tim” was not posing a threat to anyone in the classroom, and the youngster seemed well able to take care of himself.

What’s Wrong With This System?

Furthermore, how did the police know about what this young man had drawn? Clearly, school officials decided to notify the police, and the system took over from there.

Let’s Help The Students In Need

Isn’t it about time that school officials learned the difference between students who are potentially violent and a threat to the student body, and those who just need some help and looking after?

What do you think?

Photo Credit: Brett L. via Creative Commons


Kriti S.
Kriti S6 years ago

A child should be taught lovingly.

If you teach him respect, he will grow up to an honorable man.

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

0 tolerance-0 intelligence

who knows. maybe he should draw puppies and kitties kissing and not your typical "boys draw guns and killing"

how sad. living up to a sterotype, how sad, news and media convince human children we are violent, violence is sexy.

I'm so glad things like South Park exist to make fun of things like this.

but eh. the kid committed a "crime". art inmates life, art is a strong message. if showing shooting shows he'll kill people soon. he should be lobotomized right?

Manuela B.
Manuela B6 years ago


Emily Anne G.
Emily Anne G6 years ago

Now THAT is ridiculous. I would understand if he got a lecture about it, a maybe a detention, but ARRESTED? That's just way overboard. If that poor kid didn't have problems then, he probably does now - they most likely scared him senseless!

Ginny Pendas
Ginny Pendas6 years ago

this is horrible. locking up an 11 year old. there are so much worst crimes all around. come one people this is rediculous!

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Yes, this is serious. The child needs help. The teacher was threatened. But c'mon? Jail, for an 11 year old? Way. Too. Far!

Emily W.
Emily W6 years ago

Second, school shootings have become so common that the slightest hint of something needs to be reported. I think we could create a better system when it comes to situations like this, but school shooting are so, so, so common these days.

Most of the time the people who do the schootings often give only subtle hints such as writings, drawings, poems, or jokes. That is why the slightest hint should be taken seriously. If he drew a picture that was showing violence against somebody else in the school than that needed to be reported anyways.

The child might have had it very harsh, but it is better than him possibly coming back the next day to kill several people.

Emily W.
Emily W6 years ago

This was most likely the schools doing. Police don't "freely" arrested anybody they want. If they show up at a house randomely it is usually ordered by somebody above, and usually that somebody above has no choice but to listen to the laws. If somebody from the school reported him than the police have to arrest him. They can't stop it even if they wanted to.....

Wendilynn K.
Wendilynn K.6 years ago

while the police can go to far, they are sometimes stuck with teh rules they have to deal with. The school is at fault here for making teh notification in the first place. But people, before you get all pissed at teh school and police, this is teh results of 30 years of suing everyone for easy money if we're so much as looked at wrong. Maybe the teacher threatened to sue the school, maybe a kid told his parents and they threatened to sue if something wasn't done.. I'm sure there is way more to this story then meets the eye.

Kritik S.
Kriti S6 years ago

The brain of a child is in developing stage, they are not in a capacity to grasp every thing that is right and every thing that is wrong. We have to be patient and teach them again and again the moral values of life. I live in a large multiple housing, I was walking toward my car, when I saw a kid standing in the middle of the road way. A car was coming towards us and the kid was not obvious of the danger. I quickly grabbed the kid by the arm and took him away from danger. I do not want any praises from anybody, simply making a point of how the children are vulnerable and how much care and understanding they need.