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Outlaw Insomnia

March 12, 2008 permalink

Here is a new reason to invoke child protection: insomnia. Two four-year-old boys in New York City were handcuffed and threatened with removal from their parents for not sleeping during nap time.



Real, Strange News

4-Year-Olds Handcuffed For Disrespecting Nap Time

Parents Inexplicably Sue Bronx Kindergarten

Educational tools that don't talk back
Educational tools that don't talk back. (AP)

For years, children have disrespected the institution of nap time. With truculent cries of "I don't wanna sleep" and "I'm not tired," they flaunt authority with the same flagrance as jay walkers or criminals who cut the labels off of mattresses. But one public school in the Bronx may be putting the lights out on restless preschoolers, with a no-nonsense policy that makes NyQuil seem like warm milk.

The New York Post reports that at least two students at CS 211 were allegedly handcuffed and intimidated when they refused to sleep during nap time. Jaden Diaz and Christopher Brito, both then 4, claim that on Nov. 17, 2006, a substitute teacher took them to an empty classroom, where a school safety officer cuffed their wrists and told them they would never see their parents again.

Now those parents are suing the school. The families' lawyer claims: "Failure to comply with nap time is hardly an offense that warrants being handcuffed, or threatened, for that matter. Nothing would've warranted that."

Although some parents may feel that that kind of discipline endangers their child's safety and emotional well-being, they need to wake up and smell the big picture. Midday rest provides well-documented health benefits for children, as well as well-needed respite for educators and classroom pets. By challenging the institution of nap time and the authority of teachers to enforce it, such parents aren't just doing their children a disservice, they're hitting the snooze button on society.

By Emil Steiner | March 11, 2008; 10:00 AM ET

Source: Washington Post