Jmyha Rickman, a student at Lovejoy Elementary School in Alton, Illinois, threw a fit in a classroom yesterday morning, then hauled into jail.

8-year-old Jmyha Rickman may never throw another temper tantrum in school again, especially after what she had to experience this week. Jmyha, a student at Lovejoy Elementary School in Alton, Illinois, had a tantrum in class, but the teachers and staff couldn’t control her this time.  Instead of calling her guardian, Nehemiah Keeton, staff called the police. Keeton told KMOV-TV: “Her eyes were swollen from her crying and her wrists had welts on them and they cuffed her feet too”. He said the Jmyha threw a tantrum because she wasn’t  allowed to use the bathroom.

Kristie Baumgartner, assistant superintendent of the Alton School District, said district policy says if a student is a risk to themselves or someone else, police would be called if a parent or guardian refuses to pick them up. Alton police told KMOV that they were responding to a call about an out of control child who was tearing up two classrooms. Police also stated that the child was put in a supervised juvenile detention room at the police station. An officer says he thinks the appropriate actions were taken, according to KMOV.

Keeton doesn’t feel the situation was handled properly. ‘This is something that I don’t feel like any 7 or 8-year-old – I mean,  she didn’t have a weapon threatening to harm anybody.”


Do you think the treatment was justified?

  • Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    There are always more to these stories.

    We don’t know if this child has been labeled as having a disability (for instance, emotionally handicapped). If she was there are an amazing number of legal issues involved with restraining her, punishing her, suspending her, etc. Some students who have “tantrums” bite and claw and their own skin, self injure, or become intent on injuring others though biting, etc. Consider that parents aren’t required to report some health ailments that are communicable, like hepatitis. I would not take the risk of being bitten or restraining a bleeding child, especially if I might be violating district policy or specific stipulations in her record.

    For parents out there who have kids who have serious behavioral issues, one must understand that, yes, your child may get arrested if situations escalate.

  • Owlman5678


  • Tory

    What do you expect teachers to do: they can’t beat their little asses so they call the cops…. Start whooping these kids and save the tax payers money by haveing the police dispatched because some kid is out of control.

  • Sweetles

    This is a tough call. I don’t like to see our babies criminalized, but the staff members don’t have a lot of options. What are they supposed to do?

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    There’s always more to these stories. But HANDCUFFING CHILDREN (and from the number of similar reports I’ve seen/heard, these are non-white children) does not get an OK from me.

    I also wanted to know why that reporter chose to use these words “That little eight-year-old girl…all 70 pounds of her…” Just what the @#$% was THAT all about? His sensational description rubbed me all kinds of wicked. We also must pay very close attention to how our local, as well as national media portrays/speaks of our children.

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