Two days ago a sixteen-year-old girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was using her phone in class. The teacher wanted to take the phone from her. She refused. The teacher then asked her to leave the classroom and go to the principal’s office. Or, rather,–I’m guessing–he ordered her. She refused. The teacher called the assistant principal, who then told her to leave the classroom. She refused. So the assistant principal sicced the cop–excuse me, I mean the School Resource Officer–on her.
The SRO came and told her to get up. And she refused. Because,–I speculate–being a teenager and therefore not sufficiently experienced in these things, she had asserted her sense of individuality and her determination to make her own rules and who knows what else, without realizing that she was working herself into a corner. And now here she was, this sixteen-year-old black girl, looking up at a white, weightlifting pitbull of a cop, the tension palpable in the room as her classmates looked on. So she couldn’t get up. Not without losing face.
The cop then put his arm around the girl’s neck and slammed her backwards on the floor, seat and all. He then grabbed her by some random limbs and threw her several feet in the general direction of the door–during which time she somehow got disconnected from her seat–before putting her in handcuffs. The (white) student closest to her seems unaffected as far as one can tell from his body language, but the other students are flinching and visibly want to disappear from sight.
Yes, a few students managed to record the incident on their phones and the moment is being played on the news over and over again. The whole thing is horrifying to watch, here on my couch in Austin, six states away. To imagine how scared these kids must have been is almost too much.
The girl was led away and arrested for “disturbing schools” and for not cooperating with an officer of the law. One of the students who filmed the attack apparently also spoke up in her defense, which got her arrested as well, also for “disturbing schools”. The first girl could potentially get a $1,000 fine or nine months in prison. I don’t know about the second girl. According to the local sheriff it’s up to the prosecutor.
So that’s the situation. It’s wrong on so many levels that I’m going to spend several posts on it, but I felt I had to set it up first for non-American readers who may not have heard about this–although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the footage “of this great nation’s” education system at work is splashed all over the news across the world.