Kentucky Sherriff Used Handcuffs on 'Misbehaving' 3rd-Grader

Video shows one incident where an 8-year-old student with ADHD was handcuffed by police; the sheriff and deputy involved now face a lawsuit.
3:56 | 08/04/15

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Transcript for Kentucky Sherriff Used Handcuffs on 'Misbehaving' 3rd-Grader
A lot of happiness but outrage across the country, as well, over some handcuffing of kids in school. It happened to two Kentucky schoolchildren. They had add and one incident involved an 8-year-old caught on camera and now the sheriff and deputy who did it face a lawsuit. ABC's linsey Davis with the story. Reporter: Good morning, George. A serious traumatic incident. That's what the attorney representing the children is calling what you're about to see. Saying the children are still struggling as a result of being handcuffed, have a trouble of sleeping and now have a fear of police. You don't get to swing at me like that. Reporter: An alarming classroom scene caught on video. Watch as this Kentucky sheriff handcuffs an 8-year-old boy. You can do what we've asked you to do or you can suffer the consequences. Ouch, that hurts. Reporter: This third grader crying out in pain. His hands behind his back. Handcuffed for 15 minutes because of behavior which his attorney says is related to his add. Now, sit down in the chair that I've asked you to do. He stands 3 1/2 feet tall, weigheds approximately 54 pounds and at no time has he ever a danger to himself or to anybody else. Reporter: The video filmed by a school staff member was released Monday by the American civil liberties union part of a new federal lawsuit just filed against this sheriff. The aclu and attorneys for the parents alleging he subjected this and another child with disabilities to unnecessary and excessive handcuffing claiming as a result, they experience pain, fear and emotional trauma and an exacerbation of their disabilities. Handcuffs have no place in schools with little children who are having discipline issues. Reporter: According to the department of education, students with disabilities make up 12% of public school students, but they make up 75% of all students subjected to physical restraint at school. It's your decision to behave this way. Reporter: Now the aclu is calling for an end to this kind of discipline saying it does more harm than good. If you want the handcuffs off you're going to have to behave and ask me fleissly. Reporter: Using handcuffs as a disciplinary mechanism is illegal both in Kentucky and federally. They will not comment until they review the lawsuit. George. Okay, linsey, thanks very much. Let's talk to Dan Abrams about that. Handcuffing illegal. Does that mean this lawsuit succeeds? Look, it's a heartbreaking video to watch. Here's the basic law in Kentucky when it comes to schools. Physical restraint only permitted when the child is an imminent danger to himself or others. Mechanical restraints meaning something like a handcuff, it appears, are not supposed to be used in schools at all. And so the question is going to be what's the remedy? Meaning what I think the aclu really wants here is to change the way this stuff is done. Because they're saying that there are too many incidents where the police are using handcuffs, using these mechanical restraints in particular when kids have disabilities and they're basically saying that these handcuffs don't have any place there. How does the fact they had disabilities change this. They're basically saying the kids are being discriminated against because they have these disabilities. The questions are going to be, can you actually establish a different standard of behavioral standard for a child with attention deficit, for example, than another child? Can the school only take action in some way, shape or form against a child who doesn't have that kind of condition? Those are going to be the tough questions that have to be answered but I think the point of this lawsuit is to try to change the way things are done generally around the country. Could have far-reaching effect. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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