Sikh boy sent to juvenile detention centre for joking about bomb

Friday, Dec 18, 2015,14:24 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Houston | A 12-year-old Sikh boy in the US had to spend three days in a juvenile detention centre after he jokingly told a classmate that he had a bomb in his school bag, police has said. Armaan Singh Sarai of Arlington, Texas, was locked up on December 11. Arlington police Lt Christopher Cook told the Dallas Morning News that officers went Nichols Junior High School on Friday afternoon after a student told a teacher he’d heard Armaan saying he was planning to blow up the school, apparently saying his backpack contained a bomb and he was going to place it in a school toilet.

After his classroom was evacuated and his backpack searched, the boy admitted he had mentioned a bomb and insisted that he was joking, but was nevertheless taken to the county’s juvenile detention centre. People have got to learn they cannot make these types of threats which cause alarm, which cause evacuations, Cook said. Just because you say it’s a joke, it doesnt get you out of trouble.

However, Armaan’s cousin Ginee Haer, said he was a victim of bullying that landed the young man in juvenile detention for three days. In a Facebook post Haer said, On Friday, December 11th, 2015, my cousin attended school, like any other normal 12 year old child. A bully in class thought it would be funny to accuse him of having a bomb, and so the principal, without any questioning, interrogation, or notification to his parents, called the police.

Worried & frightened at home, his family was concerned as to why he had not reached home right after school. They started calling every police department in the area, only to find out he was sent to a Juvenile facility. They kept him held behind bars for three consecutive days, before finally releasing him on Monday, December 15th.

Aksh Singh, Armaan’s brother, posted a screen capture on Facebook of a letter addressed to school principal Julie Harcrow in which he writes: My little brother Armaan was taken from school to Kimbo Juvenile center because he and other students were joking about bomb threats. I know we live in a time when such an accusation is serious, but this is outrageous and I demand a justified reason for why a 12-year-old Indian boy was taken into police custody and sent to jail.

Aksh questions why a teacher would have called the police on Armaan instead of sending him to the principal’s office, adding: I want to let you know I will be taking this seriously because of the grief this has caused my whole family. A spokesperson for the Arlington school district said, We did try to contact the parents Friday afternoon, and they were aware Armaan had been taken to a juvenile detention center, adding we would love to fully respond to the parents’ allegations, but is unable to due to privacy legislation.

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