Written by Lisa Chedekel
As a fifth grader at a New Haven magnet school in 2009, Jacob was watching a lot of “Ed, Edd n Eddy” shows on TV—a slapstick cartoon that features adolescent equivalents of the Three Stooges.
Maybe too many shows, his mother now says.
That October, she received a call saying her 10-year-old son was in the principal’s office with a police officer who was preparing to arrest him for giving a younger student— a girl—a wedgie on the school bus. His parents were dumbfounded.
“It was just surreal. You’re going to arrest a little boy over this?” said his mother, who asked that her name not be used to protect her son. She said Jacob, who had special education needs that she believed were not being addressed by the school, had been punched and injured in prior incidents that had never resulted in arrests. “It still brings up such anger and even tears at this point,” she said.
A C-HIT review of data collected by the Connecticut judicial department suggests that Jacob’s arrest, which was later dropped, is not unusual, especially in inner-city or overcrowded schools.
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