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?

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  • 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.

    • Guest1234

      I would agree with you, except for this one fact. I have never EVER heard of a SINGLE incident where a white child is chained on their hands and feet. Do you know what happens to white children with behavioral and emotional problems?! They get counseling. They get therapy. They get patience. They get GODDAMNED COMPASSION!!!!!

      This sounds to me like a little girl who is suffering from some kind of trauma. It can be mental or emotional. There are actually EXPERTS who know how to deal with these problems. And often times they work in schools. I can well understand not wanting to physically restrain a kid under such conditions as an educator. I cannot understand why we treat black kids with the problems like animals. Somehow, the white kids get calmed down. There ARE alternatives. Period. And we know because they are ALWAYS available to white kids. Don’t excuse this kind of stuff. What we need are professionals who are trained in handling precisely these kinds of issues in a safe and compassionate way. Anything less is just disgusting.

  • 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.

    • It’s even worse than not whopping them: if kids have specific stipulations in their documents, a teacher could get sued/fired/disciplined for trying to restrain them at all. In my state, teachers are strongly discouraged from touching students AT ALL, particularly if they don’t have state-mandated classes in restraining students.

    • Mellanese

      Perhaps if this child was 2 years old then she may not know better she is 8 that is old enough to know better. They stated that she is special needs. That can be just a learning disability but she had enough sense to show out. All these reports of people killing children I think this was a good move and a lesson was definitely learned here.

  • 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?

    • mluv

      I agree its so tough. When working in the classroom, Ive seen children have their moments and thats when school security is supposed to be called to help “mediate”,and then disciplinary action is taken. However, children need know that certain behavior is not acceptable.

    • Guest1234

      They’re supposed to do the SAME DAMN THING THEY DO WHEN WHITE KIDS THROW TANTRUMS!!!!! And that NEVER EVER requires handcuffs and jail time!!! Stop accepting anything less for our kids.

    • Mellanese

      The school stated that this was not the first time they have had to involve the law HOW do you know the other kids where not white? In this case the uncle called the news. Please accepting less for our kids WE should raise OUR kids to act better than this she is 8 and throwing a darn tantrum.

    • LDN

      You proceed with calling the parents to remove them, not the cops.

    • gloria


      Sometimes the parents don’t respond. I’ve had parents tell me flat out that when they see the school’s number, they hit ignore. Plus, this child has a guardian. Where are her parents by the way?

  • 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.

    • On another note, the reporter mentions that Jmyha had a history of throwing tantrums – Kinda wondering how they could get a hold of that kind of information but no school official/administrator wants to face the camera and give an account to this incident.

    • There’s a law that makes it illegal for administrators and teachers to publicly disclose any information concerning students (even their names).

    • In that case then we shouldn’t have known that she’d thrown tantrums before .