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School officer assaults South Carolina teenager in the classroom. {Watch}

I saw the story pop up yesterday, but didn’t watch the video until later. I was absolutely stunned.

Let’s start with the video.

 

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina  
 
Here’s a longer version..
 

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

 

Now, naturally I was upset. I verbally responded reacted watching this. Then. I decided to look for the whole story. Maybe I had missed something. Maybe she had just committed a homicide or had a grenade and was threatening the classroom. Maybe she had just assaulted the teacher. Maybe she was a threat to national security.

School officials confirmed the incident happened on Monday between a female student and school resource officer Ben Fields.

Fields, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, was acting in response to the student, who was refusing to leave class.

“The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused,” Lott said. “The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO.”

The video shows Fields approaching the girl sitting at a desk in a classroom. Fields grabs the girl’s arm while putting his own arm around the student’s neck.

{WISTV}

She…refused to leave class.

She wasn’t a present or imminent threat to ANYBODY.

I was done with this post when I saw these tweets from a student that goes there….

Oh. And SRO stands for “Student Resource Officer.” What authority does this officer have? I’m going to violate my own rule and reference Wikipedia on this one….

School resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement officers who are responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the American school environment.

SROs are typically employed by a local police or sheriff‘s agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff. The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction.

Okay. So that answers that.

Debbie Hamm, superintendent for Richland School District Two, said in a statement officials were “deeply concerned” about the incident.

“Student safety is and always will be the district’s top priority,” Hamm said. “The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the district has directed that the school resource officer not return to any school in the district.”

The student had refused to leave class before the school officer became involved, the sheriff’s office told the local TV station WIST.

James Manning, chairman of the school board, called the video “extremely disturbing” in an email statement Monday evening. He said the use of force appears “excessive and unnecessary.” Fields, said Manning, has been banned from all school property.

“Staff are committed to the safety of all of our students and are taking immediate steps to ensure that our students are treated with the full respect and dignity that they deserve while in our care,” Manning said.

{Huffington Post}

At the beginning of this post, I said the incident stunned me. But what stunned me even more, was seeing those who were defending the officer. And no, I’m not talking about white people. Black people, men AND women (!?), are saying that the force WASN’T excessive, and that the student brought it on herself by failing to comply with the officer.

(At this point, someone asked her if she’d seen the video. She responded that she hadn’t.)

^^I agree.

^^Let me just pause here and say that EYE would be pissed at ANY cop, black, red, blue, white, or yellow, who put his hands on my daughter, niece, sister, cousin, homegirl…WHATEVER.

But that’s just me. And I have a sneaky suspicion that this is the same for A LOT of people.

In fact, to be honest, in all that I have read about it (so far), I haven’t seen race being a contributing factor (well, one person on Twitter said that he felt that if it were a white teenager then this wouldn’t have happened…).

*scratches head*

But you just said…… EH.

Come sit down. Let’s talk.

WHAT?

How could  ANYBODY (this is not directed at this one person, but at ALL individuals who say this officer’s actions are justified) look at this and say his actions were appropriate (and the people in the classroom said and did NOTHING, including the grown a** man teacher)? A teenager is, well, being a teenager and being defiant. Refusing to get up from her seat. What danger is she causing anybody that warrants attempting to put her in a choke-hold, flipping her over (IN HER DESK), and dragging her across the floor?

How was she resisting?

Where was the violence she was exhibiting that justified a violent reaction?

Do I believe teenagers should obey authority? ABSOLUTELY. When she was told by her teacher to get out of his classroom, that’s EXACTLY what she should’ve done. That’s the SAME expectation I would have of a student in MY classroom, and I teach grown college folks.

But what that DOESN’T mean, is that you get to respond excessively and assault a student. That’s what you DON’T get to do.

How can you said his action was appropriate? Not to mention the fact that even school officials have said it was inappropriate and the sheriff is requesting and independent FBI and U.S. Justice Department investigation?

As a parent, you’d be okay with seeing that video….because your child should’ve gotten up?

Unbelievable.

Here’s a reaction from Martin O’Malley (press play)…

So again….where is your justification?

I hope this “school resource officer” loses EVERYTHING. I hope this child’s parents sues the literal pants off of him and that he will FOREVER remember that day as the day his entire life ended up in shambles.

Unbelievable.

Word.

 

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