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:
What is impact on black children of being traumatized by cops in school & living in a society that condones it? #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— Dorothy Roberts (@DorothyERoberts) October 27, 2015
There is no excuse for violence inside a school. The #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh is unacceptable—schools should be safe places. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 27, 2015
Heart breaking. Ridiculous. #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) October 27, 2015
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.