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Florida Boy, 8, Arrested at School for 5th Time

Feb 27, 2011 – 3:12 PM
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Lisa Holewa

Lisa Holewa Contributor

An 8-year-old boy who's been arrested five times since November for assaulting teachers at his Florida school has been released from juvenile detention because the judge said he's too young and small to be held. But the adjudicator chastised the pupil's mother for not getting him help.

"He is your responsibility. We really do not want to be involved in his life," Orange County Judge Alicia Latimore told the boy's mother during a court appearance Friday.

The boy, arrested for the fifth time last week, appeared in court surrounded by three Orange County Sheriff's deputies, WFTV in Orlando reported. He was handcuffed and escorted from the school on Tuesday and spent three days in juvenile detention after being charged with battery on a school employee. AOL News is not naming the boy because of his age.

According to the arrest report, prior to being taken into custody Tuesday, the boy "threw chairs, books and a desk at his classmates" at Riverside Elementary School, where he is in a special needs unit designed for children with serious emotional and behavioral problems.

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Police told the Orlando Sentinel that the child then left the campus, climbed a 4-foot-high chain link fence and threw sticks at a school employee who was following him, striking her without causing injury. Police said the boy then picked up a piece of pipe and threw it in the direction of the employee, the newspaper reported.

In another incident earlier this month, deputies responded to a complaint that the boy began throwing papers and books around the classroom after becoming frustrated about an assignment. According to a report from the sheriff's office, the boy then kicked the teacher, biting the man in the knee when he tried to restrain the pupil.

The boy "was quiet and cooperative" with deputies, the report said, noting they had been called to the school on several other occasions because of the boy.

"Each time," the report said, the boy "told this deputy that he acts out because he gets mad, usually because no one read to him or (didn't) do something that he wants them to do."

During the court appearance on Friday, the judge ordered the child to continue participating in a diversion program that provides mentoring and counseling.

His lawyer questioned whether the school is providing enough help for the boy, who takes medication for ADHD, according to WFTV. "Whatever is going on at school is going to be investigated by my office, stat," attorney Barbara Glass said.

The superintendent who oversees the district said the school goes through a series of measures before calling police. "We absolutely do not want to have students arrested. Every time we have a problem, we don't want to call police," area superintendent John Edwards told the Orlando Sentinel.

"When you have to protect the safety of children or staff and can't do so by any other means, you call for help," he said.
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