South Carolina congressman wants SROs out of classrooms - | WBTV Charlotte

South Carolina congressman wants SROs out of classrooms


Ask South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn about the Spring Valley High School video that's played, replayed and dissected countless times and he has a different answer. He doesn't believe the School Resource Officer should have ever been allowed inside the classroom. 

"We need to take a look at those resource officers. And we need to make sure we keep them out of the classrooms," Clyburn said. 

The video shows former Richland County deputy Ben Fields pulling a 16-year-old student out of her chair and throwing her, after reports say she refused to comply with his requests to leave the classroom.

WBTV spoke to Clyburn over the phone from Washington. He believes SROs should only be at schools to protect children from outside threats. 

"That's what SRO's are supposed to do, make sure if you have that type of problem, they're there to protect the students and the teachers. But to be there to body slam 16 year old children that ain't the role of an SRO," Clyburn said. 

Clyburn, a former public school teacher, says daily discipline should be left to teachers and school administrators, not law enforcement.

"Police officers are police officers, teachers are teachers, administrators are administrators and adults ought to be adults. And this gentleman did not act like an adult," Clyburn said. 

But Judy Kidd, president of the North Carolina Classroom Teacher's Association, disagrees, putting the fault with the teenage girl.

"She doesn't have a right to take away the education from the entire classroom of students," Kidd said. 

Unlike Clyburn, Kidd believes Richland County deputy Ben Fields should still have his job.

"I think that's very unfortunate because that sends a message to students that it's okay to disrespect authority," Kidd said. 

But Clyburn hopes his state will reexamine the roles of their SROs.

"Just because a child acts like a child, doesn't give an adult the license to act like a child. This SRO, or whatever he was, never should have been involved in this event," Clyburn said. 

Clyburn added law enforcement should be allowed to step in if a child poses a threat to other students and teachers, but he said this was not one of those situations.

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