By Evette D.Champion
School resource officers are supposed to protect students, not cause them harm.
Parents and students rallied together outside of Tolman High School in Rhode Island because a student was recorded being attacked by the school resource officer who violently slammed him by the neck.
According to The Root, the officer claimed that the teenager’s brother was being disruptive during school dismissal. The student was escorted to the school’s main office. This is when the brother was handcuffed on the ground when he refused to calm down. As the teen walked into the office, the officer said the student threw a punch and that was what prompted him to slam the child to the ground.
Having viewed the video, something doesn’t quite add up. The footage shows the last few moments of the incident, where the older teen is already handcuffed and laying on the floor. The student in question had his back turned to the officer before being slammed to the ground. The officer turns and takes hold of a 14-year-old student and slams him to the floor. A voice in the background screams, “You can’t do that!”
Approximately 100 students and adults protested the video outside the high school. During the protest, eight students and two adults were arrested. Officers used pepper spray in a brute attempt to manage the crowd.
“The school resource officer did that for show, and he wanted to get his point across that he’s big, bad, and tough … when in reality, he did not have to do that and hurt him,” Jose Morales, a student at the high school, told ABC 6 News.
In an effort to do damage control, police told ABC 6 News that the viral footage doesn’t show everything that happened. Police claim that a student was being disruptive, which is why the resource officer escorted the teen to the office. The officer said that the student continued to be unruly, after which the officer put the boy onto the floor and handcuffed him. Then the boy’s younger brother came into the office and punched the officer.
Watch the video clip and let us know what you think.