We've all seen the video of the high school student in South Carolina being flipped from her desk and dragged across the room by a police officer. He has subsequently been fired. You've probably read varying opinions, perhaps even offered your own. You may also know there have been calls for both Raven-Symoné and Don Lemon's heads to roll because statements they made on air. The ex-officer has supporters, though. A group of about 100 students have come out in support of the officer and want him reinstated. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Here's mine.
The video is painful to watch and as a mother of a teen, I would be outraged if this would have happened to my son. I certainly don't condone what the officer did. I understand the young lady recently lost her mother and is now living in foster care but my question is, does this justify her behavior? It has been reported that she was non-compliant when asked to put her phone away and then refused to leave the classroom. In my day, when an adult asked you to do something, you did it. Most people of my generation remember their mom giving them, "the look". Sometimes that's all it took. The look. The look that said, "don't let me tell you again." I know from personal experience this same look that used to send shivers up my spine, does not always work with my own child.
If I found myself in this situation, I would want to know why my child didn't simply do what he was told. Tyler knows that if he gets into trouble at school, there will be consequences. In this particular case, it's a tough call because what can a teacher, an administration or a peacekeeper do in this situation? If a student refuses to comply, what then? I certainly feel for her and I pray for her recovery. But ultimately some of the responsibility is on her and students like her who decide they aren't going to comply with a request from a teacher and administrator or yes, even the police. You have to remember that whatever choice you make, there are consequences. I tell Tyler this all of the time. My hope is when faced with similar choices, he'll do the right thing.
The sad thing is, this is not an isolated case of a student not complying. And it's not simply students refusing to put away their cell phone or leave the classroom. Teachers are being terrorized by the very students they are attempting to teach. My fear is that this sad situation will get worse, before it gets better.
Myra Faye Turner, Writer