#Cops, #Police, #Racism, #responsibility, #schools, #socialmedia, #useofforce -

Bring Back Personal Responsibility

Unless your head is buried in the proverbial internet sand, you've no doubt encountered this brief video that's been all over the "news" today:

Yet, as with so many (if not most) stories about cops out there: there's more to the story. We'll get to that shortly. Meanwhile, let's take a look at a longer version of the video (not the one most common on twitter or other social media sites:


And now let's take a final look at a different angle that shows something pretty revealing about this "peaceful" student:


Here's what we put together from the videos:

  • Just because a video is on the internet doesn't mean it's the final or factual word
  • The second video CLEARLY depicts the school resource officer offering a peaceful resolution to the girl's disobedience and disruption of the classroom that had been so much of a distraction the school determined a police officer needed to intervene. Again, the OFFICER didn't call himself into this situation.
  • The final video shows that this "peaceful" student punches the officer in the face and forces HERSELF back in the chair, while the officer merely maintains physical control of her legs and left arm and ultimately places her on the ground and gets her in handcuffs. No punches, no kicks, no taser, no OC spray. Just minimal contact and control in order to get the situation resolved.
  • Use of force never looks pretty.

But of course, the keyboard warrior (including a Presidential Candidate) simply cannot wait to cast judgment on a situation they literally know nothing about. They have quickly turned a situation that was handled in the best possible way (I'd love to hear your alternatives) into an issue of race, targeted violence in schools as a "prison pipeline" or police brutality.  See the sorts of things that are representative of a great deal of chatter social media:


 My response is quite simple:

  • Mrs Roberts: What impact would we see in a society that once again embraced personal responsibility and solid parenting that demanded respect for authority?
  • Madam Secretary: There is no excuse for permitting disrespectful children to distract from an effective learning environment. That school is safer because an officer was present and removed a violent and rude child from a classroom.  You're right--there IS no excuse for violence inside a school---but who caused violence in this case? You blame an officer because it fits a narrative that positions you for power. 
  • It is heartbreaking Mrs. Washington that there are children who are seemingly unwilling to show respect to their elders and those in authority over them. It's also heartbreaking that you were not there, do not know the facts and yet cast judgment. 

You see, what is happening here is the all too typical response to law enforcement doing their job properly. What actually happened is quite clear: This young lady was disruptive in class and her teacher asked her to stop yet she would not.  The teacher then asked the girl to leave the classroom, which she also refused to do. The girl is requested again to go to the office and she would not.  An officer is finally called to the room and gives this girl more than two opportunities to simply come with him and is warned that she will be physically removed and SHE STILL WILL NOT STOP BEING DISRESPECTFUL. 

So, the Officer goes "hands-on" because he is left with no other choice. However, the story many anti-cop folks would have us to believe is that this Officer went into a blind rage against this small innocent girl and threw her upside down in a desk and then threw her across the room.

I challenge you to watch this video more carefully, if you have any shred of doubt.  The officer grabs ahold of the girl's left arm and left pant leg. Not her leg..but the pants, to get a grip.  The girl then punches the officer and pushes herself with her right foot, causing the desk to fall over. The officer simply moves the female to the ground and then continues to calmly giver her directions and get her in handcuffs.

Again, watching the unfortunate and unnecessary use of force is never something that "looks good". Many people are talking about "how unnecessary it" was, but they are putting the onis of "it" and "necessary" on the wrong person.  Does this justify an improper use of force or excessive force, absolutely not. But you'd have to show me a case of that first before it could be condemned.  While I would have perhaps handled it differently (perhaps consider clearing the room of all other students prior to engaging the unruly one physically) if we just look at the physical controls used by the officer, we've entirely missed the real point of what's going on here in both the situation and the response of early criticism from onlookers who have probably never found themselves in anything resembling this situation.

So instead of getting cops out of schools, how about we put personal responsibility back in. That's a lesson not just for kids but for all of us.



  • Melissa Zolnierowski

    I thought this was a great article, I feel for the officer involved. With today’s media we don’t see the whole story, but I am saddened by some of the comments here. Yes I feel for the girl and her loosing her parents and just being placed in foster care, BUT we all have a story and most don’t show this kind of disrespect. I at 15 had lost my innocence, my youth all I had left was 1 person in my life, and she was killed the same year. With in a month I was picked up by police and brought home, and not once did I ever disrespect the officer that arrested me and brought me home. I was brought up better than that. Today’s society has made it OK or give permission for people to get away with anything, and give it a reason. Well its not OK, EVER! My youngest is 19, I have 3 children and NONE of them ever acted out against authority, even when they thought it was wrong. I hope for my children and grandchildren I raised them better and to always show respect. I’m not even going to get into this young lady’s behavior that causes this to happen. It was all by her own doing that this happened. Not her circumstances.

  • Leandra

    Giving this girl permission to act out because her parents are dead and she’s in foster care is like allowing criminals to go free because of an abusive childhood.

  • Leandra

    The bottom line is that our youth have lost respect for adults and adult leaders. Take digital toys out of the classroom! When I was a kid we got paddled by the principal for such behavior. We’ve lost control of our kids.

  • robert dayton

    Why does a police officer have the right to take this student’s property? What crime was being committed?

    This officer needs to be trained effectively and not fired. He needs to apologize directly to the student and learn not to do it again. It could be a learning experience.

  • Dana

    There are underlying issues with the student that have been brought to the public’s attention through her attorney. Those of you talking about how her parents need to raise her better, or talking about how her parents should have been called to come a collect their brat need to ball your dominant hand up in a fist, and punch yourself in the face for your ignorance. This child was recently placed in foster care because both of her parents are dead. This was a failing on ALL the adults in the room that day, including Ben Fields. None of them stopped to ask themselves WHY this student might have been acting out.

    Ben Fields has been fired because the maneuver he used didn’t follow the proper procedure according to the sheriff. Those defending Fields will probably be quick to point out that a sheriff is an elected post and he was probably just covering his own ass, and that may be true. If that’s true, then I suspect there will be some sort of legal action over wrongful termination. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

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