OPINION BY ASHLEY KIRKLAND
All it took was a nine-second video on Facebook to shed light on a recent resource officer attack on a student last week in South Carolina.
On Oct. 26, a student refused to hand over her phone to her teacher. Resource officer Deputy Ben Fields was called to the scene to remove the student. When she refused to stand up and leave, Fields violently lifted and threw her on the ground to handle arrest.
When I talked about this issue in my First Year Seminar with my classmates, we were appalled. In no way does civil disobedience in the classroom demand violent action from an officer.
Since the incident, Fields has been removed from the school and has not been receiving pay. I believe it was a smart move from the Richland County School District to take such actions. This man was a threat to students at the school for his violent actions. A report stated that Fields has had two lawsuits in the past decade, both relating to excessive force and battering. In Field’s last lawsuit, the jury was in favor of him, and he was placed back in a school. Will a jury be so quick to allow him to walk away with a minute slap on the wrist?
A resource officer is placed in a school to protect and assist the students in the school district. No young adult should fear the police system.
I argue that he should not be stationed in a school again. While I acknowledge the video feed released shows pertinent evidence to the violent actions between the two subjects, I feel that there were other factors that play a part in the time line.
This whole issue relates back to the young student that refused to hand over her phone to the teacher, therefore the educator called for assistance from Deputy Fields. I believe that the teacher was slightly hasty when making the decision to involve the police officer. This student refused to hand over her phone and was not violent about it. In no way does an act of civil disobedience require violent action to solve an action. I believe this would have been a whole different issue if the young student would have stood up and respected Deputy Fields, but in no way does this disregard the vile actions taken by Fields.
While I do not feel he should be placed in a school ever again, Fields was following his orders and regulations of being an officer, and those skills could be used in a less sensitive environment such as a school.