A New Mexico middle schooler was handcuffed and sent to a juvenile detention center over an in-class belch, a lawsuit alleges. After the 13-year-old “burped audibly” in gym class, his teacher called school officials; now the principal, teacher, and a school cop are facing the suit, the AP reports. In a separate incident, the boy was forced to strip to his underwear in front of five adults after he was accused of selling drugs, the lawsuit says.
The boy is one of more than 200 kids in the district arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors over the past three years, says the lawyer who brought the suit. She has also filed a suit by the parents of an autistic 7-year-old who was allegedly handcuffed to a chair after getting upset in class. Another girl was arrested last year because she "didn't want to sit by the stinky boy in class," attorney Shannon Kennedy says; that suit resulted in a settlement with the district. It’s the schools, not police, that are the real problem, she says. "It lands in the lap of the principal."