INTERNATIONAL: US police officer fired for student assault in South Carolina

INTERNATIONAL: US police officer fired for student assault in South Carolina
Officer Fields.
Officer Fields.
Officer Fields.

BBC – A US police officer has been fired after video showing him throwing a female student across a classroom became an internet sensation.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Wednesday that Senior Deputy Ben Fields had been sacked.

He was a resource officer at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina.

He “should not have thrown a student – he could have done a lot of things he was trained to do, he was not trained to throw a student,” Mr Lott said.


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  1. Just wanted to say that the teacher and other students in the class did not appear to be bothered by the violence going on near them or ill treatment of their peer. They appeared toooooooo calm!!


    • Dee, you have made a very good observation. What you see is a symptom, common in many Western schools and that includes England. In no way do I condone this person’s behaviour however; disruptive and defiant students in the learning environment need people with ‘the patience of Job’ because these children are NOT FEARFUL OF AUTHORITY neither do they listen to appeals to their better judgement. It takes a team approach to manage these children, get their attention and remove them from the class so that their behaviour does not hold the rest of the students’ learning to ransom. As a second adult in the class (my role is to support the teacher, the class and specific students) when the teacher gives an instruction and a student ignores it, I would reintroduce it to the student often simplifying what the teacher requested. I’m also aware that if this child has anger to discharge I would now be in the line of fire. Stay calm is the best strategy; shouting or raising your voice would worsen the situation. I would appeal to the child’s better judgement to step out of the class to have a chat. This can take time. it is a battle of will. Once out of the class, I would talk to the student to find out what is his/her issue. The student can return only when she gives her word to be compliant. At some point, I would write a report to the student’s Head of Year with the view of supporting the class better, and supporting and monitoring this student’s behaviour. But not all teachers have additional and experienced support staff members in their classes.

      Teachers are trained and have behaviour management strategies at their disposal which often includes a mediation team as the last resort. Mediators are trained to handle students without recourse to physical force. Often two mediators may be engaged in one situation. When a teacher uses the meditation team we are to think that the teacher had tried other strategies including engaging the parents. Sadly, mobile phones are the sparks for many of these situations. Mobile phone use during lessons is responsible for many low level disruptions in the classrooms. Some schools and teachers deal with these disruptions effectively because policies are in place and all staff and parents are consistent in implementing them.

      In my experience, ‘flash behavioural incidents’ are more common with supply teachers, newly qualified teachers and teachers (poorly supported by senior management) who teach classes with an overload of children with challenging behaviours - children who in theory should get the best skilled teacher who usually are senior teachers.

      Teachers fall ill, last minute supply teachers may not be available or outside the school’s financial budget. So, existing support staffs or any teacher at hand are hastily made to cover these lessons. On my own, as a support staff with a challenging class, when confronted with many uncooperative students, I am merely child minding, ensuring the health and safety of the class and my welfare is met. I ignore low level disruption (playing with mobile phones, chatting) when I cannot ensure senior teachers’ support and that’s woefully unsatisfactory. Even with a teacher, these lessons are non-study lessons meaning nothing in the curriculum are achieved; and many schools (especially secondary schools) have some of these lessons, daily. Most students revel in these lessons, they see them as in class holidays opportunities to do whatever they want.

      Perhaps, only as adults would these disruptive students reflect on their wasted hours, wasted days, and wasted years, and to boot, were even accomplice in their wasted education. The saving grace is when you are backed by children with strength of character who would challenge their peers and appeal to them to behave themselves because they want to learn. And this can make all the difference without ejecting disruptive students out of class. Their peers listen, comply and settle down, and the lesson continues. I always make sure to acknowledge these helpful students by awarding them community points and nominate them prizes.


  2. Give thanks to social media because before then, this incident would have been swept under the rug. "Out of sight and out of mind".


  3. salbet yal officers will learn how to treat people and to know when yall should and can use force yall white officers just like to brutalize people and kill them especially if is black people look at so many instances in cases yall kill and use unnecessary force on people especially blacks and yall still not learning and behaving yall self smdh i hope more of yall are caught out there and i hope this student gets some compensation to. and i also think they should be something like this here also for the officers that use unnecessary force depending on the situation and for those that like to abuse their authority


    • I disagree with you that the student should be compensated. If she is injured her medical bills should be paid. She deserved an apology for his brutal handling. He is expected to treat defiant students with care that is professionalism. I fault him for going beyond his call of duty. This rebellious student was not worth the loss of reputation, salary and pension.

      Disruptive students are the bane of classrooms and thieves of other people’s education and time. Parents need to play their part in supporting the school by ensuring their children are respectful, ready to teach and ready to learn. Schools deal with children from all back grounds and homes. A raised adult voice in some home is enough to get a child's attention likewise in School. The homes where discipline is an issue, disciple problem are likely to reflect in school. The child becomes defiant of authority figures in school but are submissive and compliant at home.


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