Mother calls Columbus cops to 'scare straight' misbehaving son - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Mother calls Columbus cops to 'scare straight' misbehaving son

Photo courtesy of Chiquita Hill Photo courtesy of Chiquita Hill
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Racial tensions and officer involved shootings continue to make headlines across the country, most recently sparking uproar in places like Baltimore and Ferguson.

Now one Columbus mother is using what some call a "scare tactic" to make sure her son never gets into a compromising situation with any police officer.

"Being disrespectful at any age to anyone now could get you killed," Chiquita Hill said. 

Hill says calling the police to her Columbus home to teach her son a lesson wasn't her first choice.

"We sat down, we talked about it, I asked him what's going on? How are you feeling?" she asked. 

Hill said her son, Sean, had been acting out in school, disrespecting his teacher and refusing to do school work. She says the behavior was going on for weeks and talking through it just wasn't working.

"He's going through the phase right now, it's just in one ear out the other," said Hill.

That's when she called police in hopes of scaring him straight. Hill says she is scared that not obeying his teacher could escalate into disrespect for authority as an adult, something she believes could be life-threatening.

Hill says that when cops arrived they talked to her about what the arrest simulation would be like, making sure she was OK with everything. 

Police entered the house, talked to Sean about his behavior, put cuffs on him, and sat him in the back of a squad car for about five minutes.

Hill posted photos of the experience to her Facebook page and she's received more than 3,500 likes, 1,000 shares, and hundreds of comments.

One commentator referenced the situation in Baltimore saying: "I don't like this, in a lot of cities police really do handcuff young children."

Many others showed support for Hill's decision with comments like: "I had black cops arrest me when I was 15 and I love them for it, I wouldn't be who I am today. "

"I prefer to go from a positive," said child psychologist Dr. Angela Sims. 

Sims says finding the cause of misbehavior is just as important as correcting the defiance.

"If it's a one time occurrence you address the behavior and then you might just move on and there might be nothing else, but if it's an ongoing kind of thing, and it's happening more than a couple times, then yea you need to find out what's going on," said Sims.

"It's hard for a black male now, and I just want him to grow up to be successful and to be respectful," said Hill.

Sims says parents should seek professional help if their child starts chronically misbehaving and the earlier they do, the better chances they have to correct it.

Officers at the Columbus Police Department say there isn't a program in place to scare misbehaving children. 

They say parents can contact juvenile services if they are concerned that their child is engaging in wreckless or illegal behavior.

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