Summary: A black female student at Spring Valley High School was being disruptive in class. The student refused to leave after a teacher asked her to. A School administrator, also black, was called to the room, and also asked the student to leave, and she refused again. Finally, the school resource police officer (white guy) was called to the room. The officer requested compliance the student refused twice. The officer forcibly removed the student and placed her under arrest.
The BGI narrative began almost immediately – Richland County, SC (WLTX) – A Richland County school resource officer has been placed on administrative duty following an incident at a local high school that was captured on video and circulated on social media sites across the nation.
Lt. Curtis Wilson with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said Monday night that Deputy Ben Fields will not be back at any school pending the results of an investigation.
Sheriff Leon Lott, whose agency is in charge of the school resource program at the school, was out of town at a law enforcement meeting when the incident took place. Wilson said while they’re asking for patience while an investigation takes place, Lott was taken aback by what’s being shown to the public.
“He was disturbed by what he saw,” Wilson said. “He has questions. He has questions just like everybody else does. And he wants answers to those questions.”
Wilson could not say if the deputy involved had any prior incidents or complaints against him.
A video began spreading on social media sites Monday afternoon. In it, a female student can be seen sitting in her chair in a classroom where several other students are present. An officer can be seen grabbing the student out of her desk, causing the chair to flip over. Once the student is on the ground, the officer can be seen grabbing the student and dragging her for several feet.
The officer then tells the girl to put her hands behind her back. A second, shorter video shows the officer restraining the girl.
Lott told News19 that the student refused to leave after a teacher asked her to. An administrator was called to the room, and also asked the student to leave, Lott said, and she refused again. Finally, the school resource officer came to the room. Lott said the officer forcibly removed the student and she resisted arrest.
The girl was charged with disturbing schools, and was released to the custody of her parents. Another female student was also charged with disturbing schools, but Wilson said that was not the person who recorded the video. (Wilson had earlier said the second student was male, but later clarified.)
News19 reached out to Richland School District Two. Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm said that the district was “deeply concerned” about the incident, and will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of students.
Roof also said that pending the results of an investigation with the sheriff’s department, the district has directed that the officer not return to any school in the district. (read more with additional video)