FIELDS FALLOUT

Ken Berwitz 

I assume you have seen the video of School Resource Officer, Deputy Ben Shields forcibly pulling a Black student from her chair in a Columbia, South Carolina classroom, and, in effect, slamming her to the floor while doing so.  
I assume you know that there were immediate outcries for Fields to be fired, and charged with assault.

I assume you know that, certainly under great pressure to do so, the school fired Fields two days later.

Well, here\’s something you may not know – via excerpts from Jeremy Turnage\’s article for the local CBS News affiliate:

Students at Spring Valley High School staged a brief walkout in support of school resource officer Ben Fields, the Richland County sheriff\’s deputy caught on camera slamming and dragging a student out of a desk earlier this week. 

Hundreds of students walked out of class around 10 a.m. and into the school\’s atrium before school administrators returned the students to class.

Principal Jeff Temoney told the students none of them would be suspended if they returned to class.

“We\’ve heard your voices, okay,” Temoney said. “We appreciate you taking time to do this, but again, as you know, we always focus on teaching and learning, so let\’s head on back to class.” 

Must have only been White students, right?  I mean what Black student would ever want a racist like Fields back at the school, right.

Uh……wrong.

Use the link I\’ve provided above, watch the video of students who had walked out to support Fields, and see that the crowd was racially mixed.

As you may recall, Officer Fields was asked to remove the student after she ignored the teacher\’s repeated requests to stop using her cell phone in class.  Then when Fields asked her politely to get up and leave the classroom, she refused to do so again.  

In other words, this student was intent on making good and sure that she was in charge of the classroom and free to do whatever she wanted there – that she ruled over both the teacher and the School Resource Officer whose job it was to keep order. 

Maybe, just maybe, other students, regardless of their race, felt that the student had no right to do this, and that Officer Fields did what he could to avoid a physical confrontation before it took place.

It will be interesting to see if Ben Fields is given back his job…..and how most of the students at Spring Valley High School (along with their parents) feel if he is.

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