MiamiHerald / A 7-year-old at Miami’s Coral Way K-8 Center was handcuffed, put in the back of a police car and taken to a hospital for an involuntary psychiatric exam after he hit and kicked a teacher during lunch.

On the same day, 15 miles south at Gulfstream Elementary, 10-year-old Kevin Bowles was begging his teachers not to call the police.

The fourth-grader had gotten upset when a teacher told him to make up some schoolwork during recess last Thursday. As Kevin grew increasingly agitated, one of his teachers told the other to call the Baker Act number, Kevin later told his mother.

Kevin knew what “Baker Act” meant. Two years earlier, during another meltdown, teachers at his old school had invoked the Florida law, which instructs police to take people who appear to be mentally ill and pose a danger to themselves or others for an involuntary psychiatric exam. On that occasion, Kevin’s parents had shown up just in time, before police could handcuff him.


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