Officer on Leave after Controversial Arrest of a Student
- By Sydny Shepard
- Oct 27, 2015
A school district in South Carolina is investigating the actions of a school police officer after a video circulated showing the scene of his violent removal of a high school student from her desk at Spring Valley High School.
While information on the events leading up to the incident is scarce, a news story reported that the student was asked to leave the classroom several times by her teacher after causing a disturbance in the classroom. When the student did not move, the assistant principle and the school’s officer, Deputy Ben Fields, entered the room. In the video, you can hear Fields say, “You’re either going to come with me, or I’m going to make you.”
When the student doesn’t respond, he says, “Come on, I’m going to get you up.” This is when Fields reaches out for the student, picking both her and her desk up before they both tip backwards falling to the floor. Fields then drags her several feet from her toppled over desk to the front of the classroom where he then restrains her with handcuffs while she remains face down on the floor.
Since the video surfaced, there has been an immediate outcry for the safety of the children. Analysts question why the officer was invited into the classroom at all, wondering if teachers are too quick to call in the police to deal with behavioral issues.
“Too often, these teachers in these schools are calling on the cops because they have a disruptive student in the classroom.” Harry Houck, a CNN law enforcement analyst said. “This is not the cop’s job.”
The county’s police department is requesting the FBI for South Carolina and the U.S. Justice Department to conduct the investigation. Fields will not be back at any school and is not currently working for the department pending investigation.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.