A Black child was treated like a criminal for crying at an elementary school and his family wants to send a message. The incident occurred two years ago when Kalyb Primm attended George Melcher Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri as a second grader.
At the age of seven, Primm was only 4-11 and weighed about 50 pounds. But teachers and a school resource officer handled Primm as if he was an adult suspect because he cried in class. When Primm’s crying was heard by officer Brandon Craddock, the chid was pulled from the class, arms twisted and put in handcuffs. With Primm’s hands behind his back and his wrists in handcuffs, Craddock walked the child to the principal’s officer.
When Primm’s father arrived at the school, he noticed the boy handcuffed while sitting in a chair. Prism’s family, along with the ACLU, have decided to file lawsuit against the Kansas City Public Schools. The school and the officer violated a state law which makes it illegal to handcuff elementary students unless there is an extremely violent situation. Primm had not harmed anyone or committed a crime. His only violation was crying and being a young Black male.
Historically, public schools have found ways to criminalize Blacks at an early age. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Black students are four times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than White students. While 18 percent of Black male students were suspended in 2013-14, only five percent of White male students were suspended.
Furthermore, Black students have been arrested for silly offenses such as drinking milk and not breaking up a fight. According to the Southern law Poverty Center, Blacks in Louisiana made up over 80 percent of the students who were arrested while at school.
Primm’s case sheds light on how racism plays a major role in the school to prison pipeline. Black kids are being prepared for prison life while students of other races are given an opportunity to make mistakes without severe consequences.