“These people are going to the extreme,” Franklin said. “She is so tiny. They didn’t have to use force on her.”
St. Lucie County Sheriff reports say Franklin’s daughter, Haley, was being disruptive on several occasions at school, throwing objects, hitting administration personnel and screaming uncontrollably. Last week after Haley wouldn’t calm down, a deputy handcuffed the 40-pound girl to get her under control.
On Tuesday, after another disruption, the girl was put under a law enforcement involuntary Baker Act and taken to a mental health facility. Franklin says the latest events have traumatized her daughter. She is afraid of law enforcement and school, she said. “There is absolutely no reason for what they did,” Franklin said.
But St. Lucie County sheriff’s reports disagree. They say Haley was being disruptive on Feb. 3. She walked out of class and kicked a wall and school officials. She screamed and wouldn’t calm down for more than an hour.
The sheriff’s deputy handcuffed her in an attempt to get Haley under control, so she wouldn’t hurt herself or others, the report said. “Haley was crying and saying that the handcuffs hurt. When I looked at her hands, she had one hand pulled almost all the way out, therefore, the handcuff was around her thumb and hand instead of her wrist, causing discomfort,” the report said.
The girl eventually calmed down after the handcuffs were removed and she returned to class. Haley said she doesn’t like school. It’s boring and the children make fun of her.
“They tease me. They call me spitball because I spit when I talk,” she said. Haley said she walked out of the classroom because of the teasing.
She said she didn’t like it when school officials carried her to the office.
“They grabbed my arm, and they grabbed my feet. They carried me like luggage,” she said.
Deputies were called again Tuesday to the school, for another disturbance involving Haley, the report said. School Principal Ucola Baxter, who is eight months pregnant, told the deputy the girl kicked her in the stomach on the previous day.
This time, the deputy took the girl to New Horizons, an adult mental health facility.
Franklin called the action a retaliatory move because she filed a complaint last week against the school principal.
The report said Franklin had been contacted “several times” by the school and once by the deputy about Haley’s behavior problems. However, the parents have not showed up for meetings.
The parents also were criminally charged with failing to appear in court near the end of 2009 for a truancy hearing involving Haley not attending school, the report stated.
Franklin said she and her husband removed Haley and her 9-year-old sister from the school. She said they are trying to get an alternative placement for the girls, but were told it will take a few days to find one.