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Are Police Too Rough On High School Students?

by Molly Lewing

Earlier this week a video was released of a high school deputy throwing a teenage girl around in a classroom after she refused to leave the room after being asked repeatedly. The video spread quickly and became very controversial. Was the deputy too rough? Or did the girl bring it upon herself?

Deputy Ben Fields who was stationed at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was called into a classroom after a girl who was asked to leave by the teacher and the principal refused to get up. The officer asked once for the girl to get up and after the girl said no he handcuffed her and asked her once again to get up. After saying no to him a second time, he threw the girl and the desk on to the ground and quickly pulled the girl by her foot out of the room even though she was still attached to the desk. Students in the room watched silently because they could do nothing to help.

The video spread quickly and questions were asked like, “Was this an act of racism?” Because the young girl attacked was African-American. Sophomore Jessica Anderson thinks, “The police are out of control, the amount of force that was put out was excessive.” Shelby Diehl (also a sophomore) had a completely different take on the whole ordeal. “When I saw it, I didn’t think the force was excessive but I also didn’t know the full story.”

After finding out the events that led up to what was caught on camera, she agreed with Jessica and most of the other viewers that it had gone too far. Multiple Twitter accounts that focus on acts of feminism found the act disturbing as well as multiple other people, feminists or not. Nathan Berry, a sophomore said, “When I first saw it I felt really bad for the girl and it was way too excessive and it got out of hand.” Another question that was raised was even though the officer had been reported for previous acts of violence, why was he still allowed to be an officer that worked around children?

People have been discussing the controversial topic of cop on civilian violence for a few years now and it’s not getting any easier to talk about. It becomes more of an issue everyday and we need to draw awareness and recognize what’s a problem and what isn’t. Equality is reachable and it takes effort to reach it.