A picture of a Pennsylvania boy in handcuffs went viral, causing people to question police tactics with regard to school children, according to a report by Philly.com.

Lancaster Chief of Police Jarrad Berkihiser said that the officer was called to the school because the boy was in some manner of crisis, and that the handcuffs were needed to protect the student from harming himself or others and were removed once he was safely in the ambulance.

The school district was quick to issue a brief statement offering clarification about the incident.

“Police determined restraining the child in this manner was the best course of action for the child’s safety under the circumstances. Although this was a last resort, they used their best judgment to manage this medical situation and protect the child and staff. The school district will continue to collaborate with the police department with respect to medical emergencies for our students. We appreciate the coordinated effort between the Lancaster City Police Department, school building officials, and the child’s family to ensure the actions taken were in the best interest of the student’s safety and well-being.”

Chief Berkihiser said he will meet with the district’s superintendent, Damaris Rau, “to determine what can be learned from the incident.”



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