5-Year-Old Forced to Sign Contract at School Promising She Won’t Kill Herself or Others

A 5-year-old in a Mobile, Alabama school had to sign a contract at her school, where she pledged not to kill herself or others. It started like so many other incidents we’ve seen in recent years that usually result in a suspension or expulsion.

This 5-year-old apparently drew something that looked like a gun. And then she pointed her crayon at another student and said, “Pew, pew.” There’s nothing else to the incident. That was it.

Without the child’s parents’ knowledge, she signed the contract stating that she would not kill herself or anyone else. In Alabama, contracts signed by minors like this one are not legally binding. Local 15 reported:

“This isn’t right. She’s 5-years-old,” said Rebecca [the child’s mother].

Rebecca did not want Local 15 News to use her last name. She said E R Dickson school officials crossed the line when they had her daughter sign a Mobile County Public Safety Contract without her being present.

Rebecca said, “Most of these words on here, she’s never heard in her life.”

School officials told Rebecca they had to send Elizabeth home after an incident in class. 

“They told me she drew something that resembled a gun,” said Rebecca. “According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said, ‘pew pew,” said Rebecca.

She said her child was given a questionnaire to evaluate her for suicidal thoughts.

 “[They] Asked her if she was depressed now,” said Rebecca.

Without her permission, Rebecca said her child was given the Mobile County Public School Safety Contract to sign stating she wouldn’t kill herself or others.

“While I was in the lobby waiting they had my 5-year-old sign a contract about suicide and homicide,” said Rebecca.

According to state law, minors cannot legally sign a contract.

“There should be a different way to handle this situation. If this is protocol it needs to be looked at again,” said Rebecca.

Local 15 News contacted school officials to see what the proper protocol is when handling “violent-like” behavior. Local 15 News has not heard back.

“My child interrupted us and said, ‘What is suicide mommy? Daddy what is suicide?” said Rebecca. “As a parent that’s not right. I’m the one should be able to talk to my child and not have someone else mention words like this in front of her at all.”

Rebecca is pushing to have the incident removed from her child’s record. She said school officials have requested Elizabeth see a psychiatrist.

She believes that is unnecessary.

I can’t decide what would have been worse, the child getting suspended or expelled for what she did, or her having to sign a contract saying she promises not to kill anyone. And then they’re recommending that she see a psychiatrist. I’m hoping they also offer counseling to all the other kids who were no doubt traumatized by the crayon incident