A school resource officer at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, tackled a girl who was sitting in her desk, dragged her across the room, pinned her, and arrested her, according to video footage of the incident.
WISTV reported that the girl refused an order to leave class:
According to Sheriff Leon Lott, the school resource officer was acting in response to a student who was refusing to leave class.
"The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused," Lott said. "The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO."
The video shows the officer approaching the girl sitting at a desk in a classroom. The officer grabs the girl's arm while putting his own arm around the student's neck.
I suggest watching the two videos. It may be true that the girl was in trouble, and she certainly disobeyed a police command. But it's impossible to justify the act of violence that followed her refusal to move; the officer knocked her backward out of her desk and dragged her across the floor. To say she could have been seriously injured in the struggle is an understatement.
The officer can also be heard threatening to arrest students for complaining about the girl's treatment. "I'll put you in jail next," he said in response to a student who quite reasonably exclaimed, "what the fuck?"
According to activist Shaun King's Twitter feed, the SRO has a history of violence toward the students, who are all terrified of him.
School and police officials are investigating the incident. Parents and students are outraged. They should be. Students do not lose their right to humane treatment merely because they are compelled to attend public schooling.