When a mom gets a call from her child’s school, she tends to assume the worst: sickness, injury, or disaster. But when Marlena Wordlaw got a call from her daughter Madisyn’s school, Fernwood Elementary, she never would have guessed what she was about to hear.
She received the news that her six-year-old daughter had been handcuffed, and when she arrived at the school, Marlena found Madisyn handcuffed to the bottom of a desk.
The security guard who had handcuffed Madisyn was fired after the school district found out about the incident. He defended himself by saying that he was trying to “teach her a f***ing lesson. She took a piece of candy and I handcuffed her under the stairs.” Madisyn has special needs, and the security guard grew frustrated when she allegedly stole some candy from a teacher’s desk.
Marlena filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education as well as the security guard, Divelle Yarbrough. She and her attorney are making charges of excessive force, false imprisonment, and emotional distress to Madisyn. Marlena says that the candy Madisyn “stole” was actually from inside Madisyn’s own lunchbox.
The police haven’t pressed charges against the guard. Marlena has been understandably frustrated, and she’s moved Madisyn to a new school as she doesn’t feel safe at Fernwood any longer.
Jeffrey Granich, Marlena’s attorney, said, “The Chicago Public School system has a responsibility to make sure nothing like this happens again.”
Sources are not clear if Madisyn did take candy from a teacher’s desk or if the candy was from her lunchbox. Regardless, being handcuffed is cruel and traumatizing, especially for a student so young. The lawsuit is ongoing, and we hope that Madisyn and Marlena get the justice they’re looking for.