“Speak Out” is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by editorial board member, Jess Sessoms.
Last month, cameras captured a Richland County, South Carolina sheriff’s deputy forcefully removing a disorderly and defiant student from her desk.
School safety experts say the line between security – the officers’ prime responsibility – and discipline – which administrators and teachers traditionally manage – has been blurred.
The Richland County Sheriff stated that the student and another who came to her defense, deserved to be arrested and held accountable.
But he fired the deputy, saying that his response violated department policy.
We agree with him and applaud him for taking such action, yet there are no winners here.
The student was selfishly disruptive to the entire class and later struck the officer.
And while we don't know the circumstances as to why, she was living under foster care.
So there's a breakdown of the family unit in play.
Secondly, the teacher, and later the administrator, handled the situation poorly.
They passed the task off to a heavy-handed law enforcement officer whose actions were witnessed firsthand by the students, and later, millions around the world.
The incident has presented an urgent opportunity to evaluate the role and responsibilities of officers in schools.
Now's the time for school administrators everywhere to review policy so that something like this never happens again.
Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.