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Davidson writes: "When she saw it was Fields, she said, she turned to some of her classmates. 'I told them to get the cameras out, because we know his reputation—well, I know his reputation.'"

The girl who was dragged out of her chair by a police officer at Spring Valley High School lacked the adult protection she deserves. (photo: New Yorker)
The girl who was dragged out of her chair by a police officer at Spring Valley High School lacked the adult protection she deserves. (photo: New Yorker)

What Niya Kenny Saw in a South Carolina Classroom

By Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

01 November 15


hen a deputy sheriff named Ben Fields walked into Niya Kenny’s math class at Spring Valley High School, in Richland County, South Carolina, she took out her phone and got ready to film him. One of her classmates was in trouble for not paying attention to the lesson and for taking out her own phone; she allegedly refused to leave when a teacher, and then an administrator, told her to. So they called for a school resource officer, as the in-house law enforcement is known. “We have two—I didn’t know which one was coming,” Kenny told the local newspaper The State. When she saw it was Fields, she said, she turned to some of her classmates. “I told them to get the cameras out, because we know his reputation—well, I know his reputation.”

There are, as a result, three videos of what happened next. Fields, a tall man, flips the girls out her seat and throws her across the room. As she lands, with a thud, he berates her and begins dragging her out, by which time Niya is on her feet.  “I was crying, like literally crying and screaming like a baby,” Niya told WLTX, the local CBS television station. “I was screaming what the F, what the F, is this really happening. I was praying out loud for the girl.” The teacher, meanwhile, just stands there; most of the students seem frozen, some half-hiding their eyes. One of the videos shows Fields yelling at Niya. But she wasn’t going to be quiet. Her reaction to what was happening, she told WLTX, was one of “disbelief,” mixed with something more:  “I know this girl don’t got nobody.”

The first girl, whose name has not been released, does appear to have been left without the protectors she deserves, in many senses. Fields has been fired, but Sheriff Leon Lott, in announcing that decision, made a point of saying that the teacher and administrator “supported” Fields’s actions. “Even the physical part. They had no problems with the physical part.” (The Sheriff, however, did have a problem, because Fields didn’t use “proper technique”—hence the termination.) Fields was a football coach, which seems to have made him popular with some students (on Friday, a few dozen assembled to show support for him), even as others knew him as “Officer Slam.” And the Sheriff kept returning, unbidden, to what seemed to be his main message: “We must not lose sight that this whole incident was started by this student. She is responsible for initiating this action.” He also said, “She was very disruptive, she was very disrespectful—she started this whole incident.” And she had to be “held accountable.”

Disrupting school is a crime in South Carolina, a misdemeanor carrying a possible penalty of ninety days imprisonment or a thousand dollar fine, and Sheriff Lott had no qualms about pronouncing the girl’s guilt, even though what he meant by “disrupting” sounded singularly vague; there is no allegation, for example, that she was screaming or throwing things in the class, but, rather, as the Sheriff haltingly put it, “she wasn’t doing what the other students were doing…. He was trying to teach … she was preventing that from happening by not paying attention.” He said that one of the videos showed her “striking Ben Fields and resisting,” though what it actually shows looks like shocked flailing. In an earlier press conference, the Sheriff said that the girl had no injuries except possibly “rug burns”; asked why there were now reports that she had multiple injuries, he suggested that they had emerged only “now that she has an attorney.” She needs someone. (There have been conflicting reports about her family situation, including about whether she may have been in foster care at some point; Simone Martin, one of her attorneys, would confirm only that the girl’s mother, contrary to one report, is not dead; Martin declined to comment on her father, or any other aspect of her family situation.) When she sat there, in class, not brightly following the lesson, not moving, Niya appears to have known that, and probably some of the other children did, too. The adults running the school decided that they were witnessing a crime—actually, multiple crimes.

“I just couldn’t believe this was happening,” Kenny told WLTX. “I was just crying and he was like, ‘Since you have so much to say, you coming too…. You want some of this?’ And just put my hands behind my back.” Both girls were arrested, on the charge of “disturbing the school.” Spring Valley’s policy is part of a larger move, across the country, toward criminalizing school discipline. (Yesterday, the Times reported on an internal e-mail exchange at the Success Academy, a charter school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, which mentioned encouraging certain first-graders to withdraw from the school, in part by calling 911 if they caused trouble.) It is as if there is a general wariness toward children, particularly black or other minority children, or perhaps a blindness to the fact that they are children at all. (Another example is the case of Tamir Rice, the twelve-year-old who was shot dead in Cleveland seconds after the police saw him playing in a park with what turned out to be a toy gun.) When Sheriff Lott was asked, at the press conference, if the charges against Niya, at least, might be dropped, he sounded almost offended. “To my understanding, no charges have been dropped against anybody,” he said. “And, to my understanding, the charge is going to continue. What they did was wrong. They violated the law.” He said he didn’t “know all the facts” (which is certainly true) and was glad that the incident had been filmed—and yet he seemed to feel that he knew enough to condemn two young girls. Even when a reporter pressed him on the point—Niya had only stood up, after all, in response to what even he was now acknowledging was unacceptable behavior by a law-enforcement officer—he said, “She still disrupted class. You saw other students that did not disrupt class. They sat there, and they did what students are supposed to be, and that’s well-disciplined.” He also didn’t like Niya Kenny’s “language.”

But it’s the two girls who have had their education disrupted—Niya told The State that she has been suspended—and her record may have an arrest on it. She is due in court in December, though perhaps prosecutors will have seen some sense by then. (The F.B.I. is investigating whether the students’ civil rights have been violated, or if another crime has been committed.) “It should have been an adult, that’s what I think,” Niya told The State. “One of the adults should have said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa—that’s not how you do this.’ ” Niya’s mother, at least, told reporters that she was proud of her, and that seems right. In a moment when a classroom was full of shouting, Niya understood the difference between an adult with a badge and a child who was alone—or even just between an adult and a child. your social media marketing partner


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+41 # ER444 2015-11-01 14:37
America has become a culture of violence. It is time for the peace makers to get really loud. Hillary, where are you?
+85 # REDPILLED 2015-11-01 18:25
Hillary is a warmonger, not a peacemaker.

Where are the religious leaders? Are they also compromised or intimidated by the brutal Corporate States of AmeriKKKa?
+62 # Majikman 2015-11-01 19:05
Southern religious leaders? Do you mean the ones hell bent on denying women civil rights? Like this misogynist cretin of a sheriff?
+31 # ronjazz 2015-11-01 19:10
Hillary is not a war-monger, and the religious leaders are no better than the cowardly cops. This is the direct result of institutional racism combined with the militarization of the police forces because of right wing lack of reason, patriotism, intelligence and compassion. This is the direct result of Reagan's destruction of the fairness doctrine, which at least allowed for balancing the hatred and evil spewed by the Limbaughs and Savages of the anti-American right. This is the direct result of allowing Bush/Cheney/Ric e/Rumsfeld to get away with mass murder and torture, and the banksters and Wall St. hustlers likewise getting away with the theft of billions. This is the direct result of Republican policies and the destruction of American values by the right. These two young female victims have been charged? How ridiculous.
+59 # jsluka 2015-11-01 19:33
Yes Hillary IS a war monger! She has voted in favor of every war that came up during her time in government. Hillary is a neocon who supports "full spectrum dominance" of the US, supports the big banks, and supports the military-indust rial-surveillan ce complex. The fact is that she loves war because she thinks it makes her look "strong"; that makes her a "war monger." You appear to be in denial about who "the Hillary" really is.
+28 # keenon the truth 2015-11-01 20:12
Indeed. This is the We came, we saw, he died lady.
+24 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-11-01 21:10
You forgot to say that while making the statement she was chortling with glee.

ronjazz is blaming all the evil on the Republicans. He/she seems to think there is a difference between the two major political parties. WRONG! They are one and the same two headed monster of greed and corruption. There is no lesser evil between these two. Don't be fooled YET AGAIN.

Didn't we learn anything about HOPE and CHANGE that ended up being just more of the same?
+27 # Dongi 2015-11-01 21:14
Your comment is magnificent. I feel the same way but you express yourself so well. America is coming apart at the seams courtesy of the Republican Party. That entity is bereft of common sense and common decency. I don't think we will make it as a nation with that bag of excrement hanging from our collective neck.
-5 # Lisa Montez 2015-11-03 16:26
"This is the direct result of Republican policies and the destruction of American values by the right."

I'm no Republican but when you talk about the destruction of American values, your finger should be pointing in the other direction. It is Hollywood's promotion of violence and gang culture and the media's sexualizing everything it possibly can, that is bringing our culture to the breaking point. Remember when the media made fun of Vice President Quayle's disdain for Murphy Brown's having a child outside of marriage? And the media's making fun of Bush Senior's "Family Values" campaign?

BTW, they're all war-mongers, back to Woodrow Wilson, and including FDR and Ronald Reagan. ALL OF THEM! Get off your ideological high horse and open your eyes.
+2 # MsAnnaNOLA 2015-11-04 11:30
How did bush Cheney and all get away with it. The Obama Administration and his secretary of state decided it was more profitable to them and their party to continue the policies instead of stoppping them. Go Bernie!
+17 # Merlin 2015-11-01 19:30
REDPILLED 2015-11-01 18:25
You ask:
"Where are the religious leaders?"

The concept is called authoritarianis m. There are two sides to it, but at bottom they are ideologically the same.

One end is called fascism or rule by force. The other end is rule by nurturing. Those extremes can be shown by any dictator like Sadaam, House of Saud, etc., and the other by the Catholic Pope, Francis.

The problem, missed by many, is that the ideology of both extremes is the same. The only difference between them is the way they carry out their authoritarianis m. We hate one and love the other. (How we adore the loving father image.)

Democracy rejects this kind of rule, because it sets a ruler above us who controls our lives at their whim. The ideology is one of equality rather than one of hierarchical rule, (a government of the people, by the people and for the people.)

To want or wish for the religious leaders to solve the problem is simply wishing for more of the same! A more gentle form of being ruled by someone above us.

The answer is in Democracy where The People create the rules and solve the problems. This represents real change, (and on a side note where Bernie comes from!)
+9 # NAVYVET 2015-11-02 00:55
Merlin: Don't be so quick to paint everyone in a group with the same brush. That's a sign of a prejudiced person.

I'm sorry to note that you must have been reared in the stifling atmosphere of an authoritarian dogma and learned to hate it. I had a similar experience. But look around. In my city there are outspoken, justice-demandi ng leaders in most Christian churches, Quaker and Humanist and Ethical Culture meeting houses, Reconstructioni st synagogues, Islamic masjids, Buddhist and Sikh and Tao temples, and Unitarian Universalist churches. We UUs (and some others) are more fortunate since we have full freedom of expression, and no fear of excommunication or silencing, but I applaud the religious leaders who buck their own behind-the-time s hierarchies and speak out for justice and peace. Surely your town or city has some, maybe many, who do so and who find this barbarism abhorrent! It has much more to do with white culture than religion, and it's so prevalent in the South because the rural backwoods South had almost NO churches or religious guidance until the resentful period following their defeat in the Civil War. A few good preachers back in the 1840s and 50s, teaching GENUINE Christianity, might have made a difference.
+4 # Merlin 2015-11-02 03:06
NAVYVET 2015-11-02 00:55

Apparently you did not understand my post. I described the reality of authoritarianis m. It has two sides. One of them is benevolent as shown by Pope Francis. Of course there are many religious leaders that are loving. But their ideology is still authoritarian. If you agree with authoritarianis m then you can’t agree with the ideology of Democracy, which rejects authoritarianis m. This is just fact.

You simply don’t understand the concept of authoritarianis m. I suggest you go to these links and read about it:

That you choose to assume what my upbringing was, (incorrectly, I might add) and judge me as prejudiced, is your choice. I take no offense.

+4 # hwmcadoo 2015-11-02 10:40
Yes, either war you have to cede your individual rights and have to obey a master.
-1 # Lisa Montez 2015-11-03 16:39
Excellent post! I only wish more people could see this.

Although, I disagree with Bernie being the answer. He does have some very good ideas but he is a socialist as heart. That's scary because I don't think you can be a capitalist and a socialist at the same time (at least a country can't). Capitalism itself is great, it's raised more people out of poverty than any other economic system. It's crony capitalism that we have and need to get rid of.
+41 # reiverpacific 2015-11-01 19:12
Quoting ER444:
America has become a culture of violence. It is time for the peace makers to get really loud. Hillary, where are you?

Whaddya mean "Become"????
It's (arguably) the most violent and gun-crazy, testosterone-hy ped country I've ever been in.
The scary part is it's size and power. Where else is 50% of the federal budget spent on the military death apparatus a (the title Dep't of "Defense" is a joke).
This Dixie-macho chowderhead(I'l l bet that he's a "Practicing" evangelical Christian" too, in the "Spare the rod, spoil the child, Old Testament tradition) is more representative of the general mentality than most of you like to admit and it's become accelerated since my first visits, then residence here in the 1970's when (at least on the west coast) things seemed relatively calm and promising.
I hitch-hiked from San Francisco to New York in 1972 when I was still a Scottish student, after several months in Mexico and received some amazing hospitality at all levels of society.
I wouldn't do it now -even if I was young enough or had the energy.
+54 # bigkahuna671 2015-11-01 19:28
Hate in this country has always been part of the subculture, but when Reagan became President, he made sure it became a part of mainstream culture, turning the word "liberal" into something evil, and anyone who was liberal into evil-doers who needed to be controlled by force if necessary. Ever since his administration, hatred has become part and parcel of the political scene in our country, especially in the South and the rest of the Red States.
-3 # Lisa Montez 2015-11-03 16:55
Right, there's no hate in the blue states. Only censorship. Liberals are good with that!
-12 # pierre 2015-11-01 21:29
ER444... I suggest watching the following videos regarding the Clintons:
+9 # kalpal 2015-11-02 06:19
Might I suggest that you pay attention to the topic at hand? nah, your hatred for the Clintons precludes that. Does hatred make you feel warm and cuddly?
+11 # reiverpacific 2015-11-02 09:47
Quoting pierre:
ER444... I suggest watching the following videos regarding the Clintons:

What the Hell has THAT clump of hysterical rhetoric got to do with this over-testostero ne bully-cop????
-5 # babaregi 2015-11-02 20:55
Quoting ER444:
America has become a culture of violence. It is time for the peace makers to get really loud. Hillary, where are you?

What is the enlightened black man's opinion?
+43 # jbell94521 2015-11-01 19:12
Every adult who had any part in allowing this to happen belongs on a Georgia chain gang. Enough already.
+56 # Desiderata 2015-11-01 19:28
Has it come to this ? How can anyone in their right mind justify Field's behavior ? A deputy sheriff/footbal l coach physically abuses a female minor and not even the teacher moves to stop him. And the only person to try and intervene (another female minor) is suspended?
I hope that girl gets the kind of legal defence that she deserves and they sue everyone concerned. Teenage disobedience in class hardly warrants what was filmed on that video. What kind of message are these so called law givers giving to young adults ?
+2 # MsAnnaNOLA 2015-11-04 11:44
Oh and the Bankers who committed the largest control fraud ever known to man, go free. This is police state Fascism. A boot to the face to everyone except the rich and powerful. Dozens of rediculous laws. Outlawing being a child. Outlawing natural cures. Outlawing taking of unharmful substances voluntarily into one's body (meanwhile CIA is importing these illegal substances). So here we are the most incarcerated, most jailed population on the face of the earth and we can't get our government to jail one solitary banker. Fascism thy name is us.
+32 # Shades of gray matter 2015-11-01 19:30
The Sheriff sounds like the kind of nitwit loser who would seek out psychos to hire. Sometimes it's wiser to say less, not more. You might reveal too much. And, no, the female student did not initiate the VIOLENCE. Is violence the ONLY response some people can imagine? Sure the girl was out of line, but she was not about to bomb the chem lab. Is the respect for officials so fragile there that it has to be defended with "nuculer options." Can that cop joke, engage, tease, dance? Has he any patience? The other 2 adults there don't come off all that well either. Is their environment that intimidating? Limited/ limiting?
+30 # djnova50 2015-11-01 19:43
I watched three videos about this and I don't know what the teacher actually saw; but, from what I saw, the girl wasn't being disruptive. Whether she was reading a text message or writing a text message, she was no more disruptive than she would have been if she had been taking notes.

The teacher initiated the disruption by calling attention to the girl with the phone. After that, things got out of hand. Deputy Fields had no reason to do what he did except that he knew he could do it. He was bigger and older than she was.

If a student is texting quietly who is that student disrupting? If the teacher had just kept her a few minutes after class was over, he could have given her a verbal warning that if she was caught texting again, that she would have to leave class and go to the principal's office.
-8 # futhark 2015-11-01 21:10
It's pretty hard to determine what a student is doing with a cell phone when trying to conduct a class activity. Most of the time I have been able to do so, it involves scrolling through menus of pictures, videos, or music stored in the phone. Teachers should not have to spend their time and energy monitoring student activity on devices most often employed for alternative personal entertainment.

Compliance with the directive to turn the phone off and put it away would have been much simpler than contesting it, leading to an escalation of disruptive hostilities. Nothing the student could have been doing on the phone could have been more important than letting the teacher conduct the lesson as he or she considered to be proper.
+12 # Astoriapepe 2015-11-01 23:57
to #futhark: As usual, the victim of abuse is to be blamed. Abuse is a legitimate tool to enforce silent compliance, which is what the dumb teacher, the administrator, the abusive cop, and the sheriff all expect.
+12 # kalpal 2015-11-02 06:23
Teachers used to send me to the principal's office because I would read a book instead of paying rapt attention to their boring lectures. Since I scored a nearly perfect 100% on tests it was hard to argue that I refused to learn. Nor could it be argued that I was disrupting the class. I was in essence insulting the teacher by not slavishly following the lecture is how my mother explained it.
+13 # Billy Bob 2015-11-02 11:30
The dispute isn't over the student's behavior, but over the need to assault her and turn her INTO a victim of a psychotic "cop" who has no business with any authority.
+2 # SHK 2015-11-04 20:55
+3 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-02 16:39
It doesn't matter what she's doing on the phone as long as she isn't disturbing other students. The only "disturbance" was that the "teacher's" feelings were hurt because she wasn't mesmerized by every word that issued forth from his mouth. That doesn't count.
+8 # hwmcadoo 2015-11-02 10:43
Navy leadership school teaches, "Praise in public, reprimand in private".
+15 # Cat Mom 2015-11-01 19:45
I agree with pretty much all Ronjazz said...except about Hillary.

She believes in war and American exceptionalism. She does not understand the limits of our legitimate use of power.

And..of course with so many leaders like her our citizens have really bad role models when it comes to peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Anybody who has ever worked with people in a decently run program has been trained to de-escalate situations like this. If a firm, casual approach did not work with the girl, the next best move would have been to have the rest of the class leave the room and then the officer and a skilled school staff could have talked with her....many ways to approach this even though the girl would need to face some kind of in school consequence.
+7 # littlebird 2015-11-01 20:01
When a student is called down by a teacher,the student needs to do what the teacher asks, even if it does not seem fair. There should be a set standard for dealing with unruly students. If there is an incident, the school should have an advance protocol on dealing with it, just like what to do in a fire drill. Do not leave it up to someone whose temper or pride might escalate it and make a more dire situation. It seems that the officer had authority to do whatever he wanted. There is too much of this sort of thing going on in traffic stops, etc., all over the nation."Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Nothing makes a teacher madder than a student who defies them and refuses to obey rules of conduct in the classroom.It can quickly come to a point of who has control. Anger management needs to be taught to both students and school officials, along with what a student can expect for bad behavior. There were ways to manage the student, other than by the abuse she received. Adults have the responsibility to do the right thing because students are not mature enough to reason and function as an adult, when challenged and embarrassed, especially if they feel they are being unfairly treated. The student should have been disciplined by a different approach. That is why protocol and training in conflict management is necessary for anyone dealing with situations that require intervention from authorities.
+20 # Blackjack 2015-11-01 20:32
This girl did not invite the violence handed down to her by Officer Slam, but let's understand how Officer Slam got involved. He got involved because the legislature put into place a statute that criminalizes non-violent school misbehavior, described as "disturbing schools." This law makes it a crime "to interfere with or to disturb in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school" and even "to act in an obnoxious manner." Officer Slam was trained first as a law enforcement officer and this is what Sheriff Lott defended--his officer's defense of the law, but he rightly fired him for the tactics he used. What is wrong is the law. The teacher used the law to call in the assistant principal who called in the school resource officer. What a tangled web. Sheriff Lott is and has been an effective, fair, and compassionate law enforcement officer, but he had the unenviable job of doing what the law, enacted by non-thinking, shoot-from-the- hip legislators, required. The teacher and assistant principal could have headed this atrocity off at the pass if they had not been so willing to let some legal craziness take the place of sound teaching and administration. There is plenty of blame to go around here, but most of it lies at the feet of the legislature for enacting the law, school personnel for using the law first when it should have been a last resort, and Officer Slam who went waaay beyond what was necessary to get a grasp of the situation.
-38 # MidwestTom 2015-11-01 20:50
The student did not obey orders, first from her teacher, second from a administrator, and finally form an officer. If a teacher is to maintain control of a class she must be obeyed, if not there is chaos, and no educating takes place.

Now hundreds of kids from this school are demonstrating in support of the officer. Too bad the liberal "do your own thing" crowd does not get it.
+18 # futhark 2015-11-01 21:04
I agree with this part, being a retired classroom teacher with 33 years of experience and currently a substitute teacher in multiple districts. I am thankful that most of my career occurred before the majority of students came to class with alternative personal entertainment devices or at least did not get them out and use them at every opportunity. There were ear-plug transistor radios available when I was in high school, but I never observed any student using one in class. We knew that to do so was both a rule violation and rude and inappropriate. My experience over the past decade is that this is no longer the case. Many students are not shy about asserting their will and determination to use these things in spite of rules against doing so and explicit directives to put them away and turn them off.

That said, a physical assault on a disobedient student is not appropriate under these circumstances. School policy makers need to formulate action plans that are safe, fair, humane, and effective in deterring students from using this technology in a way that inhibits academic activity in the classroom.
+17 # Dongi 2015-11-01 21:25
Hey, Tom, you ever taught? What do you know about classroom control? Chaos or education either?
-11 # futhark 2015-11-02 03:22
Hey, Dongi, you ever taught? What do you know about classroom control? Chaos or education or grammar either?
+12 # Dongi 2015-11-02 07:49
38 years--American History--Psycho logy--Latin--a lot
+6 # Billy Bob 2015-11-02 11:31
check and check mate!
+4 # kalpal 2015-11-02 06:27
Some decades ago a graffito appeared near OSU that read, "Sit down, Be quiet, Get a job and Die." That was the essence of the educational system and culture we as students abhorred.

I used to be a teacher but gave it up 4 decades ago because it was much too consumptive of energy and time.
+5 # hwmcadoo 2015-11-02 10:45
You learned much from the Gestapo.
+6 # Billy Bob 2015-11-02 11:39
"Hundreds"? The article mentioned "a few dozen". Maybe you're aware of another article I haven't read.

Either way, we can actually SEE what happened. Unless the girl was ARMED, there really is NO excuse for what "officer slam" did to her. She might have told him to go fuck himself. I don't know. It no longer matters, because he responded by assaulting a child. Assaulting a child is never (and I mean NEVER) warranted, unless the child is carrying an NRA-sanctioned gun to school (something you wouldn't have a problem with, by the way).
+2 # reiverpacific 2015-11-04 11:01
Quoting MidwestTom:
The student did not obey orders, first from her teacher, second from a administrator, and finally form an officer. If a teacher is to maintain control of a class she must be obeyed, if not there is chaos, and no educating takes place.

Now hundreds of kids from this school are demonstrating in support of the officer. Too bad the liberal "do your own thing" crowd does not get it.

Could you kindly direct us to your alleged source showing "Now hundreds of kids from this school are demonstrating in support of the officer" (Quote)? -and it'd better be a credible one.
One of the best measures that could be applied to assure attention in classes would be to forbid cell phones in ALL classes and not just in poor areas.
The overuse of these damn things is taking over kids AND many adults who seem to be umbilically attached to them via their thumbs and texting digits.
They'll soon have to establish "Post smart-phone conversation skills" classes.
How so many of these allegedly poor kids manage to afford them in the first place, is a mystery to me. But then people have been killed for Jordan/Nike trainers before now.
Thank you yet again Capitalism and mass-marketing, for creating an unnatural imbalance in the life-cycle of Homo-Sapiens!
0 # Cassandra2012 2016-01-09 13:23
+21 # Blackjack 2015-11-01 20:59
No, Tom, it's NOT hundreds; it's a dozen perhaps, and that is mostly because he is also a coach. This is not "liberal do your own thing." This is adults are expected and required to act like adults, especially in the presence of children for whom they are examples! Too bad you never had that experience.
+4 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-02 16:48
Actually the problem Tom has is that he's upset that Ocifer Slam got punished for "conservative do your own thing." Beating up on helpless people while kowtowing to the PTB is the conservative way.
+9 # iris.1 2015-11-01 21:15
Merlin says "fascism is rule by forcé".... NO thats dictatorship. it takes many forms.. the dictionary definition of fascism is government by corporate economic monopoly. what do you think we got here?
+7 # Merlin 2015-11-02 02:02
iris.1 2015-11-01 21:15
Merlin says "fascism is rule by forcé".... NO thats dictatorship.

Do you seriously believe that corporate control does not use force? If so you don't understand what power means and how it is used.

Was the Occupy protest broken up by force? That was a protest against fascism or corporate control. Did a dictator do that? The difference in dictatorial force (a person in control) and corporate force (a group of people in control using corporations as their “dictator) only matters by the degree used, regardless of the name you use to describe it. Don’t get hung up on definitions. Understand the concept, which was what my post was about.

I suggest you look into authoritarianis m. There is tremendous understanding there.

+19 # Shades of gray matter 2015-11-01 21:35
I think the bottom line on conservative vs. liberal lies in attitudes toward Authority. Conservatives see even very mild challenges to even arbitrary authority as the road to "anarchy." They love the word "obey." Liberals see challenges to authority differently. Some are to be welcomed, and the others should be dealt with in proportion to the circumstances. In my 40+ years of teaching, I tried to treat most disruptions as rude to the other students, not so much as challenges to MY AUTHORITY. Too many people with a little tiny bit of institutional authority DEMAND to be treated like Gods.
Too bad a lot of them wear guns, dispense deadly force as if they were gods. But they're twisted, warped, not godly.
+4 # elkingo 2015-11-01 21:54
I think we got both.
+19 # Dongi 2015-11-01 21:54
Well, how strange. South Carolina, another ex Confederate state breaks into the news. Haven't we heard from it before?

Niya Kenny was quite prescient. Get the cameras out cuz Officer Slammer is coming. There is going to be trouble. And, the first girl, the one slammed, has no one to protect her. So we have three cameras going and the incident is quite well covered. Officer Fields demonstrates what a first class jerk he really is. He tosses the first girl thru the air. What has she done? Is she threatening the officer with a telephone? Or is she merely sending or reading text?

I would call Officer's behavior, Assault. But, then it is South Carolina and the young lady is black. So they probably won't press criminal charges. If this happened in a northern school. there might well be a different ending,

How do they find bullies like this? Must be some kind of recruitment program. Is the sheriff responsible for this travesty? He sounds a bit dictatorial.

Finally, if Nija Kenny was my daughter, I would be very proud. At a very difficult time, she stood up for someone who was alone and in danger, and at risk to herself. She deserves some kind of reward. But, it might take a while before it gets there.
This is, after all, South Carolina.
0 # Caliban 2015-11-02 02:17
"This is, after all, South Carolina": Come on Dongi, Officer Fields was way out of line for South Carolina. That's why he was fired. Critics of prejudice should be careful not to let their own prejudices show themselves quite so blatantly.
+7 # Dongi 2015-11-02 07:46
Come on Caliban, Officer Fields is out of line for any school in the world. If it was your daughter or mine, that got treated this way, I think we both may have acted differently.
+5 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-02 16:27
I don't think being out of line is the reason he was fired. It had a lot more to do with his behavior being recorded. If the cameras weren't there, it would have been swept under the rug.
+8 # Blackjack 2015-11-02 02:05
Dongi, Columbia is my current residence and while there are many things about the city and the state that I don't like, some things do seem to be changing for the better. Charges have indeed been levied by both girls and perhaps that is why they have been allowed to return to school on Monday. In addition, both the teacher and assistant principal have been suspended pending an investigation. I seriously doubt this would have happened a year ago. The sheriff is generally a good guy, but is highly focused on drugs and gangs. Trying to keep both to a minimum is a daunting task, but when you are equipped with a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. Whatever faults he has, he is not mean spirited or bigoted. Columbia is not Ferguson and a part of the reason for that is that both the top city and county law enforcement officers work hard to keep racial hatred and prejudice from boiling over. I have a feeling that this incident has provided an opportunity for valuable growth and learning in both the schools and in law enforcement. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt physically during this ugly process.
+8 # Dongi 2015-11-02 02:24
I agree it was a blessing that nobody was hurt in a major way. Good luck to all of you in making things better in South Carolina. Growth is hard but worth it.
+4 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-02 16:25
Glad to hear that the teacher and administrator were both suspended. If for no other reason than that they had no problem with what that vicious bully did.
+2 # kalpal 2015-11-02 06:34
Fascinating that this thread is largely about student misbehavior, noted a few thousand years ago under the rubric that all teenagers are an endless barbarian invasion, and of course about Hillary Clinton whose presence in the article is strangely lacking.

The officer involved is of zero consequence since his behavior is either appropriate or inappropriate but unworthy of discussion.
+7 # Shades of gray matter 2015-11-02 08:38
Well, AT LEAST the sheriff should think before he yaps unnecessarily. I still find his comments, priorities, revealing. What if there had been no video, only student witness testimony? Nice to hear decent things about Columbia, but then there is the rest of the state.
+12 # Rick Mason 2015-11-02 08:59
I have avoided this story until now because I knew it would bring out the kooks on both sides. The bottom line in this case is that nobody, I repeat, NOBODY has the right to put their hands on another person in violence because of what that person says....PERIOD! The first commenter on this story is absolutely right, Am3rikkka has become a culture of accepted violence, especially against people of color. I know this will be difficult for a lot of you, but this continent used to belong to 'people of color' until a bunch of white European 'explorers'(?) stumbled upon it and decided to steal from us. Whites are unwanted guests in this country, perhaps you should start acting as such.
+9 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-11-02 11:12
Child abuse is child abuse, & Officer Fields is visibly a child abuser.
+5 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-02 16:21
“She was very disruptive, she was very disrespectful—s he started this whole incident.”

She was texting on her cell phone. She wasn't bothering anyone except the teacher whose feelings were hurt that she didn't hang on his every word like they came down from Mt. Sinai. The first person to disrupt the class was the teacher. The second was the administrator and the third was the cop.
-1 # keenon the truth 2015-11-03 11:35
Texas Aggie, you don't seem to have much idea about classroom dynamics. Why do you keep on about the teachers feelings were hurt? How do you know that? It's much more likely that the teacher was desperately trying to remain in charge of his/her classroom.
You underestimate the negative effect'of having a student getting away with insubordinate behaviour.
Likely the teacher was struggling to fulfill his/her duty to educate.
I am not saying that his or her subsequent reaction to events was appropriate, but it seems that you fail to understand the very real challenges a teacher has to deal with.

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