SC

Letter: Spineless Schools To Blame For Sheriff Deputy Scandal

RE: BEN FIELDS’ FALLOUT Dear Editor, While I understand and respect your position that Deputy Ben Fields‘ employment with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department was correctly terminated I respectfully disagree.  My judgment may be somewhat different because I don’t have any children of my own, but in my view the…

RE: BEN FIELDS’ FALLOUT

Dear Editor,

While I understand and respect your position that Deputy Ben Fields‘ employment with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department was correctly terminated I respectfully disagree.  My judgment may be somewhat different because I don’t have any children of my own, but in my view the school administration placed Deputy Fields and the young lady in question in jeopardy by abdicating their authority and responsibility to the School Resource Officer.

I don’t question that the vast majority of School Resource Officers (SROs) are dedicated public servants trying to do a good job in a tough environment. I do question the necessity of there current job description.  The program was conceived in the wake of the mass school shootings in the mid to late 90s to ensure security of schools which I think we can all agree was a laudable goal; however, like most government programs it has grown well past its original good intentions.  Over the past twenty years the SROs job seems to have morphed from the safety and security role to more of an enforcement and intimidation role for spineless school administrators who would rather not deal with difficult students or parents.  Just have the SRO drag them off to jail under the disturbing schools law.

The disturbing schools law (South Carolina Code of Laws Section SECTION 16-17-420) is a very broadly written law that makes it illegal to amongst other things for a; person willfully or unnecessarily (a) to interfere with or to disturb in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school or college in this State, (b) to loiter about such school or college premises or (c) to act in an obnoxious manner thereon.  Since none of the terms are defined in any way the South Carolina legislature and governor passed a law that makes any school administrator a de facto dictator of his domain with a government provided enforcer paid for by “free federal grant money” also know as the schools assigned SRO.  Our legislature in its (not so) infinite wisdom passed this law in 2010 as part of the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act.

Under this draconian law Deputy Fields was required to act to remove the young lady in question because she was “disturbing school” by being obnoxious, hardly something that should be illegal.  She was treated roughly not because she was targeted by the officer but because she resisted arrest, again not Deputy Fields fault.  The young lady’s behavior was unacceptable but should be addressed by the school administration, not by law enforcement and the legal system.  The legislature needs to address this but I’m certain they will not.  They can’t seem to be bothered to address anything of importance.

Richland County sheriff Leon Lott held a press conference detailing why Deputy Fields was terminated and the only fault he could find was the toss at the end of the video we’ve all seen (here it is if you’ve been hanging out on Mars for the last five days and haven’t seen it).  The toss was in violation of the training deputies receive or so we are told.  Last time I checked good supervisors don’t fire good employees for minor violations of training or policy.  A good supervisor would send them back for retraining or possible give them a written or verbal admonishment. He didn’t kill anyone or even seriously injure the young lady in question.

Everyone that is or ever has been employed anywhere has “violated training” because as important as training is to most lines of work it takes place in an ideal environment, the real world is far from an ideal environment so you work around it.  How much taxpayer money did the High Sheriff of Richland flush away because he wanted to look good for the TV cameras, and settle down the citizenry?  Wouldn’t an explanation of the how and why make more sense? Make no mistake about it training an officer isn’t cheap and as a ten year employee lots of time and money were invested in the training of Deputy Fields.

Because of the school administration’s unwillingness to properly handle a delicate situation we as taxpayers of South Carolina are on the hook for the cost of either litigation or an expensive settlement payout to the young lady in question.  Deputy Fields was wrongfully terminated from a job that by most accounts he was very good at so that Leon Lott can look good for the local, national and international media.  The students of Spring Valley High School have lost an assistant football coach and a positive role model.  Everyone has learned that justice in 2015 is trial by social media.  The South Carolina legislature has likely learned nothing and will continue to pass draconian, asinine and downright stupid laws.  The young lady in question has learned that criminal behavior and churlishness pays and pays very well indeed.

Respectfully Submitted for your consideration;

George R. Chisenhall, Jr.
Elgin, S.C.

SIC SEZ

sic speaking

George: You make some great points, man.  Thank you for submitting this letter and sharing your perspective.

***

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109 comments

Rakkasan October 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis October 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Go ” Cool hand ” .

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Luke October 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

I can eat 50 boiled eggs, right Drag?

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Excellent letter, Sir!!!!

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yeppers October 30, 2015 at 1:55 pm

I certainly agree with George’s take on the disturbing schools law. What once was detention, suspension or expulsion has morphed into a criminal record.

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Big Daddy October 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Very well written letter, sir.

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Cube Warrior October 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Call me old fashioned, but the fact that we even have to have school resource officers shows just how fucked up our society is. That being said, George, this girl was anything but a “young lady.” My dog has better manners than her.

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Rakkasan October 30, 2015 at 7:48 pm

“If you see Goober…” Your dog has better manners cause it’s a dog. Sorry, this is a little more complicated. I’m shocked, shocked that you missed that. Maybe you should go post over on the Animal Network blog. “Old fashioned” doesn’t begin to cover it.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Of course, the elephant in the room at RCSD right now probably is, “which one of us will be next to be sacrificed to preserve Leon’s politically correct image and personal greater good”.

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Fecal Matters October 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Better believe it won’t be DJ Shorty.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

You got that right. He could strip a someone naked and begin humping them in front of the class and all would hsve been well.

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Quietus October 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

They’d just use his PTSD to excuse that. Pissed, Tired and Stupid Disorder.

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James Scott October 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Whoever steps over the line and demonstrates that his only recourse is violence in a situation which doesn’t necessarily call for it.

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badcess October 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

lawyers are the root of the problem

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James Scott October 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

As the girl is an orphan with no family, an attorney willing to represent her at no charge is her only recourse for fair representation.

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Quietus October 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Todd Rutherford is representing her in a move calculated to increase his political stock. She’s just a pawn in the game for him.

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Squishy123 October 30, 2015 at 7:04 pm

He’s already got her in a arm cast and a back brace. He took this case because it was a black student, a white resource officer, it had national attention and it would only benefit him to take her on. He knows she’s a thug, was wrong, escalated the situation, but it get him on national television. I expect black reporter Craig Melvin will be interviewing Todd Rutjerford soon.

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G. Wallace III October 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Yeah. And that pesky DOJ, and those trouble makers coming’ down here from up North to stir things up. Then’s there’s those damned Communists over at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and those Marxists at the ALCU. That, all topped off with that little prick Steve Jobs and those damn Asians for making’ those cell phone. Time was you didn’t have to worry ’bout that shit.

Come on fellas, time to due some recruiting’ for the SCV and League of the South. And better buy some more guns cause now they’re really comin’ to get em’. Better get you some gold too, and rations.

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Rakkasan October 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

True enough, sometimes when you screw up, redial or refreshing training is appropriate TO THE SITUATION IN QUESTION. Please put this in context of what happened and how it happened. LL framed it as contrary to SOP. But, a LOT of people have pointed out that he is also very politically astute. He’s not going to go too far out on a limb in his description of what happened because he doesn’t want his dept to think he hangs his people out to dry in a public forum AND the pending legal investigations that are ongoing

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sickofit October 30, 2015 at 2:09 pm

FIRE LOTT, NOT FIELDS and get a sheriff who is color blind, not one that has to kiss black ass to keep his job which is obviously is more important to him than his employees. Lott should be a bus driver as we can tell he sure knows how to drive a bus over his deputies for his own good.

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Elfego October 30, 2015 at 6:14 pm

This nation has been blinded by propaganda from Liberals and the Mainstream Media. White folks are especially to blame because they have sold their souls to the power of politics,division and selfishness.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis October 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

And the higest bidder, don’t forget ! The global rich game has done the American worker, it’s over. How can a American pay to live here with Chinese wages ? Who in the US GOVERNMENT cares ?

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Writenow October 31, 2015 at 11:08 am

The girl’s arm was broken. If the sheriff doesn’t charge Field’s with assault, he’s a wimp.

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Stan Slaughter October 30, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Having worked in the profession, I can tell you that it isn’t always pretty. You never can tell what the perpetrator will do and sometimes you have to meet force with overwhelming force. He didn’t beat the girl. It appeared that he tried a takedown, she resisted, took the chair down and he used her momentum to put her on the ground.

This just tells all of his deputies that Leon will throw you under the bus in a second. His guys know they have to be careful now that he’s proven he wont stand up for them.

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Carson 2016 October 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Hell no he didn’t beat her. He was just giving her free flying lessons. Kids these days aren’t grateful for shit.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Absolutely correct, Stan! Good to see you on here!

hi hi

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Florist Glump October 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Stan, I saw a local news segment stating that Richland county deputies are trained to meet aggression with a level of force higher than said aggression. I see no problem with what the officer did in light of that. Some may say he went beyond it with the toss at the end, but I find it difficult to believe Lott wouldn’t have fired him for the chair flip.

At any rate, I’d like your opinion on something I posted elsewhere in this thread:
___________
Does anyone know why the SRO wouldn’t have used his taser as his “first choice” to get her to comply?

I saw a local news segment saying that SRO’s have tasers and pepper spray and are allowed to use them at their discretion.

I’m not in law enforcement, but I know if I had gone in that classroom and she used her entitled, passive aggressive eye-rolling BS on me when I asked her if she was going to come with me, I would have clicked the taser on and told her, “we can either do this the easy way or the hard way; your call.”

If she didn’t stand up within 5 seconds, I would’ve popped her.

So, back to my original question; anyone know why?

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

I never went through taser training or used one, but in recent years, cops have caught a lot of hell for using them when the public didn’t think they were justified. My guess would be that he had tasered her, the same shitstorm from the same hand-wringers and apologists for bad behavior would have likely resulted.

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Florist Glump October 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Yeah, I hear you. I still hope Stan Slaughter replies, too.

I’m thinking the taser would present a little twerp like this student with an “offer she couldn’t refuse.” Truly, by now hopefully most people have seen what happens to the human body when it gets tasered, right? It’s one of the great benefits of the show “COPS” and dash cam videos on YouTube and TV news as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t know if that zappy sound would cause every teen to snap to, but at least they’d know exactly what was coming. Get my drift?

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shifty henry October 31, 2015 at 12:10 am

One city police chief explained to me that in relation to the policy of escalation of force that his officers were not allowed to say aloud “taser” in order to get the person to comply since it represented “use of force” which involved certain paperwork. The proper use is just taser the person, if the officer feels it is necessary, without warning the person.

CorruptionInColumbia October 31, 2015 at 12:27 am

I understand and agree, FG. Please bear in mind that Lott not only fired, but criminally charged a deputy for less than that a few years ago, in another demonstrstion of his pandering self-righteousness.

A deputy had a Hispanic female stopped on a traffic violation. She ostensibly could not speak English, something I don’t know if she was for real about or not. Any street cop can probably tell of numerous encounters with Hispanic people who pretend to not speak English, but at some point let it slip that they understand and/or speak English quite well. It is an old trick to threaten arrest for the violation(s) you could write them for to get them talking. I’ve seen it work quite a few times. Nothing anti-Hispanic intended, just another way to get an uncooperative person, who hopes you’ll just give up and let them go, to drop their phoney language barrier and communicate with you so you can write the ticket and get your paperwork right.

Any way, as I recall, there was car camera video of him trying to talk to the lady and her just prattling non-stop in Spanish.

The deputy was trying to get her attention by showing her handcuffs and at one point by gently tapping her on the shoulder with a small flashlight that was much smaller than the large Mag-lite type lights. It was obvious from the video that he was not trying to hurt her or csuse physical pain

Wutwut56 October 30, 2015 at 9:15 pm

The reason you wouldn’t use a taser would be because she was in a seated position. More than likely a prong would have hit her head and possibly her chest which would have caused more of an uproar and the main target area is the back. If he would have drive stunned her, with how she was resisting, he would have had to do it multiple times which would have looked worse. And if he would have used Oc spray there’s a possibility that he would have exposed more than just the one student to the spray. Laws also trained to cradle the head when using pressure points, which looks a lot like putting someone in a headlock, and with how she was flailing that wouldn’t have worked because she wasn’t passive aggressive. He made the right call but the uneducated media and uneducated social media crucified him for making the right call

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Florist Glump October 31, 2015 at 3:38 am

Of course pepper spray would be out of the question with others in the room. I wasn’t proposing that.

The officer could have walked around behind her and fired the prongs at her back at point blank range or drive stunned her in the shoulder or upper arm. Either one would have been preferable to what he did, IMO.

I’d just like to hear from Mr. Slaughter on this if he has any further insight.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 31, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Right, on the pepper spray! A regular “streamer” (water gun pattern of delivery) unit in the class room would have had literally every person in that room coughing. At least a few, no doubt, students would have been requesting ambulances and exaggerating the effects of the oc/pepper spray.

If RCSD still uses Cap-Stun, which has an atomized mist pattern of delivery, likely people in that entire wing would have been coughing violently within ten or fifteen minutes. Cap-Stun is a great product outdoors in still air. In a breeze there is a good chance it will blow back on you and indoors, it could easily contaminate a Wal-Mart for a while due to its atomized mist dispersal. Of course, it would be excellent if your goal was to clear out a building.

Mike at the Beach October 31, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Anyone who has seen a beat-down up close and personal can tell you…that was no beating.

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Tired and Retired November 1, 2015 at 9:26 am

Everyone has probably had the experience or has at least seen what happens when someone has tilted a chair back too far on its rear legs and has subsequently fallen backwards to the floor. Such an event is loud and seems violent and the victim panics even though no external force caused the victim to fall. For this reason, I discount the beginning of the first two videos. What the officer did next did appear to be somewhat over the top. While it certainly appeared that he was flinging the student through the air, I befieve it is possible that his intent was more toward getting her out of the classroom as quickly as possible and his mistake was simply in not letting her get to her feet before pushing her out the door. In any case, I voted with the 65% who felt that termination of the officer was too strong a measure under the circumstances, particularly because his record up to that incident was not bad. The Sheriff’s action was most probably “politically correct” and it is one more example of how unfortunate results can occur when a “politically correct” decision is reached after being fueled by the reporting of the main stream media.

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shifty henry October 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

excellent article..!!
———————–

All of the transgressions that I can remember in schools were joking, talking & whispering, tossing erasers, and maybe a few pranks on the teachers and dining room staff — but I was disruptive to varying degrees.

In Arkansas my Dad’s recruiting office was in the county court house. At least once when I was sent home early, my Mom sent me to Dad. I bicycled into town pretty fast so I could get over whatever punishment I was to get, not thinking at the time that I had to bicycle home.

Dad’s punishment was low-key with no yelling, beating or throwing anything. He took me into the courtroom to stand in front of the judge, my Dad’s friends, and other folks who were hanging around — and I had to confess to the judge that yes I was guilty of whatever my sin was (I don’t remember). My shame and humiliation was unlimited. There was no sympathy that I remember but I’ve never forgotten the laughter. My trip back home took a long time, hoping they were finished with supper, but they waited for me.

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rwwllms October 30, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Great piece of Truth here George. Good job.

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truthmonger October 30, 2015 at 2:31 pm

hundreds of students walked out of class in support of Ben Fields at 10am this morning. The political narrative is WRONG!!!! On WIS-TV’s site…. and the district is claiming the walkout was “small and orderly”.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Interesting!!!!! Thanks for sharing that info!

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Free Ben Fields October 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Will’s idea of abolishing public schools will solve all of society’s ills. Will should write a book with all his idea(l)s in it

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Robert October 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Very well written letter. While I fervently oppose Deputy Fields’ actions, I agree he should never have been called.

By the way, Sherrif lot said that the young lady’s problem was that she was paying attention to her phone. In teen speak, she was texting. Not paying attention is NOT being disruptive.

SRO should never have been called, and he should have used less force, she should have left the classroom when told to do so.

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mimi1711 October 31, 2015 at 1:32 pm

actually, that is not the truth. Students in the classroom stated that she while ignoring the teachers request to leave, was playing loud music and games on her phone, which was not supposed to be out in the first place. She was asked to put it away numerous times by both the teacher AND the students in the classroom and then asked to leave numerous times by both the teacher AND the students in the classroom before the administrator was called, and because of SC draconian law, as George C. stated, the administrator could not leagally put his hands on the student to remove her from the classroom and an SRO had to be called. That is the SC protocol, so I don’t care what other teachers from other states had to say on CNN about other ways to diffuse the situation, in THIS state, the correct protocol was performed. I have caught a lot of flack for supporting the officer in his actions, even having the social media police tell me I should have my own children taken away. I can assure you though, if MY child acted in that way, I would have applauded the officer because at that point, she had ample opportunity to leave peacefully. Unfortunately, she has been privy to our current social media lynchings and felt entitled to act however she pleased, knowing that what ever came of it would likely ensure her a nice paycheck. She is not a ‘little’ girl. and we do not know her record prior to the unfortuante passing of her family members, for all we know she could have been disruptive throughout her childhood, but that information is protected because she is a minor. She knew exactly what she was doing and Leon Lott is a coward and a crook, just like all the rest of the people in SC politics, d’s and R’s alike. I don’t trust any of them as far as officer Fields can throw them.

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Denozitall November 3, 2015 at 4:35 am

She got what she deserved for being a rule breaking, disrespectful, belligerent idiot.

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9" October 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

‘the medium is the message’

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CorruptionInColumbia October 30, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Ms Cleo?

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CorruptionInColumbia October 31, 2015 at 12:53 am

Isn’t that the same part that tells us about those evil “Sodomites”?

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9" October 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Does anyone remember paddlings? You got a choice between that or suspension…

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TroubleBaby October 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Good thing I didn’t have to choose between a desk flip, dwarf toss, & handcuffs vs. suspension.

:)

But, I would take that ride for $300k as I pointed out to Colonel.

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Try Truency October 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm

I always took the suspension. It always seemed odd, being thrown out of school for skipping school.

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shifty henry October 31, 2015 at 12:01 am

I survived paddlings…..

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CorruptionInColumbia October 31, 2015 at 12:11 am

I had one in first grade. Miss Prosser paddled me because the kid left to take names of people who talked wrote mine down ehen I said “ouch” when I got my finger caught in my notebook’s binder teeth.

I was more hurt that she was paddling me for something I didn’t think was wrong and dreading the shit that would befall me if dad found out. He did and it did.

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TroubleBaby October 31, 2015 at 10:23 am

Obviously you agree that paddling is different from having your desk flipped on your head, being dwarf tossed, then hand cuffed.

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9" October 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Good thing they didn’t have a cam on me, 7th to 12th.They’d have enough footage for a mini-series

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shifty henry October 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm

This possibly could make you the leader in ” disruptions” – could you share some of your antics with us? Well, those are beyond any statute of limitations!

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9" October 31, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Besides the football and basketball coaches making ROTC
cut my hair(after school).?

shifty henry October 31, 2015 at 8:11 pm

ok, OUCH!

Sic Semper Tyrannis October 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Great point about the legislature, wonder how many of their kids are in public schools ?

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Centrist View October 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t16c017.php

SECTION 16-17-420. Disturbing schools;
(A) It shall be unlawful:
(1)(c) to act in an obnoxious manner thereon;

Isn’t that a teenagers job description?

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 12:05 pm

The legislature needs to do something about a law a nebulously written as that one.

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Willie October 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm

#1 The individual you mention was NOT a “young lady” she was an entitled Drama Queen thug. #2 George, you’ve not been in a middle or high school lately, this thug’s behavior is the norm in “neighborhood” schools. #3 The SRO protects the students and teachers not only from intruders, but from thug students.

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Rocky Verdad October 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

And this, is exactly the point. The teacher and the school administrator failed, and it’s the officer who takes the fall.

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TroubleBaby October 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

Though the officer has culpability in his actions. There’s a lot of blame to go around, the child, the teacher, the admin, the officer-

But the child is usually excused, because well, she’s a child with still developing brain//emotions. Adults are expected to be, adult.

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

The cop should have never been called in.
But, the videos show he failed big time, too.

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Todd October 30, 2015 at 4:37 pm

It is time to decide if we want public schools or government day-care for troubled youths. If it is the latter, I think it should be under the dominion of the Department of Corrections. If kids don’t want to be in school, throw them out. Allowing future welfare loafers to interrupt the education of kids with futures is not acceptable. Allowing children to have smartphones in class is also unacceptable. If they are comfortable that they can be educated by google, then send them home.

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Porky Tries Pedagogie October 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

White thug cop throws around a fresh black child–in a classroom–and the goobers here love it.

Porky could have baton beaten the teeth out of a black child and some of these clowns would have still cheered it. “He was told TWICE to get that bubble gum out of his mouth! It was his choice!”

Insane escalation. Entertainment for scum.

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King-tut October 30, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Maybe Sheriff Shorty caved from the pressure from the “Richland School District 2 Association of Black Parents”. There you go, ANOTHER racist organization.

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Mike at the Beach October 31, 2015 at 12:58 am

Do they ever have joint sessions, you know, where the “Association of White Parents” get to come?

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Come on Mike. I know a guy with your experience knows that these two groups would never get together for joints.

Leon Lott: Come on Deputy, there’s a problem over at SVHS. We’ve got to get over there right away.” Deputy: “What is it Sheriff?” LL: : “It’s a big building with about 1900 kids, but don’t worry about that now”

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Elfego October 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm

To call someone like this a “Lady” show’s how low our morals have come and how uneducated and ill suited we Americans have become to be called the Greatest Nation on Earth.
Government has taken over parenting and every other facet of American life. We are a nation devoid or morals and the basic human understanding for a great society.
I personally believe the Liberal Democrats in America are directly responsible for the situation .The political system as a whole and Lawyers in General are also as responsible. I remember reading as a young child that a real Democrat Society could not stand because the majority would eventually suck the Blood out of the rest of the nation. Therefore I declare America a Dead Nation that deserves everything she is headed for. Thank a Liberal,Democrat or Lawyer if this is the type nation you have longed for. Blood suckers!

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 9:34 am

“Government has taken over parenting and every other facet of American life.” Certainly no hyperbolic sweeping generalization there. Taken over? Really. You mean someone now protests when you beat the shit out of the kids? What has America come to?

“I personally believe the Liberal Democrats in America are directly responsible for the situation” Of course you do. You have no choice to think otherwise because this is the mantra and playbook of your tribe. To deviate from that would make you something unspeakable to them–at least unspeakable where there is the risk of witnesses

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Elfego October 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

You sound like one of those parents that would have encouraged your child to obstruct a class and have her friends record it all. As far as witnesses we have a witness all the time that will right all wrongs eventually and just like the disobedient Israelites we are wandering in the desert at this moment.
I belong to the human Christian Tribe not the one from the jungle!

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 12:03 pm

I’m one of those parents that encouraged their children to think. You belong to the Scary Tribe. The one that uses the Bible for cover to explain away their hatred, prejudice, and discrimination

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Florist Glump October 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Does anyone know why the SRO wouldn’t have used his taser as his “first choice” to get her to comply?

I saw a local news segment saying that SRO’s have tasers and pepper spray and are allowed to use them at their discretion.

I’m not in law enforcement, but I know if I had gone in that classroom and she used her entitled, passive aggressive eye-rolling BS on me when I asked her if she was going to come with me, I would have clicked the taser on and told her, “we can either do this the easy way or the hard way; your call.”

If she didn’t stand up within 5 seconds, I would’ve popped her.

So, back to my original question; anyone know why?

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Why would you ever think a taser should be used when a kid won’t put up her phone and go to the principal’s office?
Don’t you honestly think that’s way too extreme for what she did?

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exhausted in Columbia October 30, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Thanks for your honest viewpoint! As a proud product of the public school system here in town, when did values, ethics and manners cross over to being THE responsibility of our school districts? 1990’s-wrong answer! The 1960’s! See below:
“SECTION 16-17-420. Disturbing schools; summary court jurisdiction.
(A) It shall be unlawful:
(1) for any person wilfully or unnecessarily (a) to interfere with or to disturb in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school or college in this State, (b) to loiter about such school or college premises or (c) to act in an obnoxious manner thereon; or
(2) for any person to (a) enter upon any such school or college premises or (b) loiter around the premises, except on business, without the permission of the principal or president in charge.
(B) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall pay a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than ninety days.
(C) The summary courts are vested with jurisdiction to hear and dispose of cases involving a violation of this section. If the person is a child as defined by Section 63-19-20, jurisdiction must remain vested in the Family Court.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-551; 1952 Code Section 16-551; 1942 Code Section 1129; 1932 Code Section 1129; Cr. C. ’22 Section 28; 1919 (31) 239; 1968 (55) 2308; 1972 (57) 2620; 2010 Act No. 273, Section 12, eff June 2, 2010.”

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Denny October 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm

I heard the lady is question was dating a black guy.

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onthemoney October 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm

not sure what that has to do with anything, but Fields has had the same african american girlfriend for the last three years. So, Al and his pals can go on home in regards to the ‘black lives matter’ crap.

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CorruptionInColumbia November 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

Oh hell, there were idiots on here a few days ago saying that he could still be racist towards some Black people, but not others. WTF????

I think I may have finally figured it out. A white must love, cherish, and absolutely adore, ALL Black people or they are a damn racist. It is not permissible to dislike the stupid ones, the ass holes, the thugs, or the hood rats, or you are just another damn Klan member, apparently. Sorry, I guess that makes me a racist, then. But I’ll tell you what, I also detest stupid whites that are ass holes, thugs, white trash, and the like, too!

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J. Belushi October 30, 2015 at 7:43 pm

What ever happened to the good ol’ days, like on the good ship Raging Queen, where real men fought over who would take the punishment? Sir, punish me! No punish me!! Come on Fields, Man UP!!! Just shows you what steroids have done to our boys: big necks, exploding heads, and low testosterone.

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 11:54 am

As long as that low testosterone makes ’em sterile…good.

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Rakkasan October 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Wrongful termination? Put your money down. He was good at his job until he wasn’t. No shortage of examples of that. Even the Army legal just eliminated the “good Soldier” defense, recognizing that “good Soldiers” do bad things.

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The Colonel October 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm

Students at Spring Valley walked out today in support of former Deputy Fields.

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Speak D Truth October 30, 2015 at 10:57 pm

They should have stayed out of class until he was either reinstated or allowed to come to the school to address them.

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 12:44 pm

They’re just practicing for a lifetime of voting for people who won’t act in their best interest

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luke October 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Mr Chisnehall, you have eloquently expressed my views (hey, I was born in Bethune). After a 25-yr military career, I served as a teacher and Asst Principal for over 10 years. I expressed to all teachers that I worked for them. Their job was to teach and mine was to provide a safe classroom environment for teaching and learning to occur. I would never let one or two undisciplined selfish students to interrupt the learning of 20 or more students. The SRO, Fields, should not have been called into the assinie stubbornness of one or two students. The teacher did what she was suppose to do but the asst principal, whoever he might be, miserable failed and should be fired. He did not do his job nor even try to. Rather than get engaged in the silliness of this student and exercise his authority, he cowed big time and called the SRO. Wonder how Lott feels this day, following his firing of Fields for nothing more than politics and being political correct, after the Spring Valley rally (composed of mostly black students) in support of SRO Fields? But, hell, Lott was praised by AL SHARPTON for the hasty firing of Fields? So, with this lofty endorsement by Obama’s notably confidante, Lott must be feeling his oats.

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Florist Glump October 31, 2015 at 3:24 am

Luke, thank you for commenting. It’s always good to hear from someone who’s been there.

Please elaborate on what the Asst. Principal should have and/or could have done in this situation instead of calling the SRO. Please make a list if there are several actions he could have taken; I’m legitimately interested/curious.

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

Until Luke gets back in touch…
http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/28/school-discipline-in-the-heat-of-the-moment-takes-training-too-few-have/?ref=us&_r=0
There have been educators and LE on CNN and MSNBC who have offered a variety of ways this could have been handled without getting an SRO involved.

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 11:34 am

According to a picture at one of the TV station sites, the teacher was a ‘he’.

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

Mr. C. does indeed make some good points. IMO you were doing great until you veered off into “wrongful termination” and the suggestion that remedial training would be more appropriate. Let’s hit the pause button for just a minute and ask whether or to what degree does some of the support for Fields come as a result of his actions being a years-long wish fulfillment for commenters. Fields’ actions represent what commenters would love to be able to do when kids (or adults) cop an attitude, are disrespectful, or are unruly. It gets complicated further when such reactions are from a group of people who have seen their power and influence diminish over the years, now feeling less in control, and are often heard to say, “we need to take our country back”. many comments are a similar version of this, except it’s “we need to take our schools back”.

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TroubleBaby October 31, 2015 at 10:22 am

I’ve loved your commentary on this whole topic. I’ve stayed back after my initial comments when this issue first came up, before Leon fired the cop- well, because I get tired of being the lone(or one of a few) voice, but then I noticed people starting to chirp up, so I can just sit back and “thumbs up” comments, like yours.

At the end of the day, all of the commenters unfortunately reflect many in our society that claim they want “small government” yet see no problem with the excessive force here used by an agent of the state to “correct” the disobedience of a child. Not a “young lady” as some here characterize it, a “child” in the legal, and most likely emotional sense.

This situation, specifically the actions of those boot lickers defending the actions of a state agent, whose own colleagues have thrown him under the bus because they KNOW that subjectively he went a step too far(even if they agree mind you, they just don’t want the heat from the public), go to extreme lengths to justify this violence that would land an actual parent in jail show the depths of violence to which many in society still adhere to…sadly.

The state is violence, it’s enforced practice it in its most base form by cops- and many people cheer lead for it…irrespective of the “D” or “R” they attach to their belief system. You scratch their surface and they one and the same.

They only reconsider when that violence is directed towards them- victimless crime or not.

Kudos to your commentary on this topic in general.

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 11:35 am

Thanks. Unfortunately it usually can’t be known, but now in hindsight we can at least reasonably speculate that given the emotional state that we might expect from a young person in her circumstances, it was likely she was needing an outlet for her pain. Too often, people do this in self defeating and self-destructive ways. Again, it’s sometimes too simplistic to label it as “young thug”, or “attitude”, or “just doesn’t care”. Granted, that’s how it can look, but then there’s the question “why”. Circular answers like, “cause that’s they way she is” don’t get it.

BTW, is that you Dee?

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TroubleBaby October 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm

No, I’m not Dee.

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Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I would have bet you were. Anyway, appreciate your comment a lot

Rakkasan October 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm

People who say they want “small government” usually don’t want small government; it’s a coded dog whistle. They want the govt they like which is when it gives to them and those they agree with. They want small govt when it pertains to “those people”.

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nitrat October 31, 2015 at 11:27 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_resource_officer

SROs have been around since 1953. I agree I did not start seeing them in SC schools until the ’90s. I have read that here they morphed out of the now discredited DARE programs.
+++++++++++++++
https://nasro.org/news/nasro-updates/nasro-position-statement-police-involvement-student-discipline/

” Best Practices for School Policing
Aug. 14, 2015 – The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) has developed this position statement in response to a recent event involving a school resource officer (SRO) allegedly using physical restraints on a special needs child and other incidents with the involvement of SROs in school disciplinary situations. NASRO recognizes that SROs always have the best interests of students at heart, and have an understanding of several physical and psychological factors that could affect disciplinary incidents.

A Clear and Concise Memorandum of Understanding is Essential

Every law enforcement agency that places an officer in a school should have in place a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by the heads of both the law enforcement agency and the educational institution. NASRO recommends that the MOU:

Require that all school resource officers (SROs) be carefully selected law enforcement officers who have received specialized SRO training in the use of police powers and authority in a school environment.

Clearly define the roles of the SRO to include those of:
Law enforcement officer
Teacher
Informal counselor

Prohibit SROs from becoming involved in formal school discipline situations that are the responsibility of school administrators.”
Of course, because of this incident, we have learned our state refuses to participate in NASRO training. And, we don’t have a clue if any local LEA has specialized training for the SROs they put in a school.
In the Spring Valley case – and, other cases reported across the country – it’s clear that many, many district and school administrators have dumped school discipline onto the SROs while paying designated assistant principals, who are likely earning $60,000+ p/y, to be the ones to handle discipline problems.
If the educators were effectively trained in student and classroom management, incidents like we saw at Spring Valley and the crying, handcuffed 9 year old with the SRO in another state earlier this year would have not happened the way they did.
At Spring Valley, the teacher, assistant principal and SRO disturbed the classroom and the school far more than the kid sitting at her desk with the phone.

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shifty henry October 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Just got off the phone with my Cousin Judge who had a few good points to offer. The first was that when the girl refused to stand up for the SRO the classroom teacher should have instructed the other students to stand up and go outside to the hallway and wait until the matter is resolved.

This action may have unnerved the girl by causing her to wonder what was going happen to her. Watching the other students walking out the door may have caused her to stop resisting and stand up for the SRO.

His other thought was to have her sit alone in the classroom and watched by the teacher and the SRO without interference by them. When classes changed what if she still didn’t get up? One idea was to have the teacher and the SRO pick her up while seated and put her somewhere else in the school where she couldn’t disturb anybody.

Now Judge and I discussed some of our school sins. He confessed he got more serious paddling than I did. And “Surprise – Surprise” he refuses to confess that with his Cousin “D” they set fire to their school early one morning and burned up half a classroom. He says that he and”D” were suspected because they cut classes that day and were caught doing some serious fishing. He told me there’s no statute of limitation on his confessing to that!

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CorruptionInColumbia November 1, 2015 at 12:13 am

That’s something SC could really use too, statutes of limitations.

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nitrat November 1, 2015 at 11:42 am

Sounds like your Cousin Judge has more knowledge of the teenage brain than these Spring Valley educators…and, that is disgraceful.
Somebody at that school knew this kid was in foster care. What a shame that person – a guidance counselor? – didn’t make a special effort to ‘make friends’ with her (and, every other foster child in the school) to help her get through that kind of traumatic adjustment.
As a former foster care worker, a school representative should have involved in any multi-disciplinary team meetings DSS arranged to keep on top of what was going on with the kid – if DSS is still that much on the ball.

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shifty henry November 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Nitrat, excellent thoughts.

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M Stone October 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Reading into this story a bit more and learning of the people that have passed in the young girls life, her mother, father, and grandmother, and being placed in foster care on top of it, I can see why she is in a “rebellious” state of mind. Also looking into Fields and his history leading up to his position of SRO in 2008, two law suits and an official complaint all coinciding with brutality and abuse of authority, I can see how he wasn’t the happiest person on campus either. For those who do not get this, it is normal practice (that needs to stop) for police departments to demote, or better said punish, officers that have had problems in the field or have been deemed reckless. And SRO duty seems to be that punishment. All indicators point to Fields as being one of these officers. The demotion usually is approached with two options, quit or take the demotion. That way it is documented the officer made the choice on his own.

Unfortunately, when these two worlds collided, this was the aftermath. And though it can not be helped that this girl had to be in the school, the administration in my opinion should carry the larger part of the blame here. If they are simply incompetent or lacked human compassion to the true needs of this particular student, I do not know. But it is apparent there was no one at the school who worked to build her trust during this time of losses for her that could of talked her out of the desk and up to the office.

But an officer such as Fields in my opinion should of not even been there in the first place. He’s obviously someone you would picture leading up a SWAT team or facing violent criminals on a daily basis in the rough side of town with more cases of brutality against him that would be thrown out of court than you could count simple because he kicked a real criminals ass. He is/was obviously in no way, shape, or form SRO material. Ask any cop you see on the streets what they think of SRO’s. You’ll be shocked by how many of them think its an embarrassment to the real reason so many people become cops. I’d bet the house Fields did not want to sit behind a desk all day at a high school but did it because he was forced to. The man was obviously born to kick ass, not babysit.

That being said, someone should be looking into exactly why Sheriff Lott found it appropriate to place an officer with a history of aggressive behavior in a school with kids and not on an assignment that required his level of aggressiveness to face hardened criminals. I know its because he though he was punishing him, but the question people should be asking, is why do police departments do this?

In a sense its a shame they had to let an officer like Fields go being he could of definitely been a valuable asset to say drug enforcement teams and/or special tactic forces if Sheriff Lott would of recognized his potential. Fields was still just a very young man in 2008 and all he needed was guidance like the 16 year old girl in this story. Not hidden like an embarrassment to the force. And of course the kids will look up to someone like Fields, he’s big, he stood for good, and he kicks ass. Isn’t that what we promote on a daily basis in the U.S.? But I will stand behind my statements of he never should of been an SRO in the first place. And even though there is no excuse for the way he handled the situation and don’t forget, Fields did make a statement through Lott regarding he could of handled it differently as well, the people here I feel should really be under interrogation and the spotlight, are the schools administration and Sheriff Lott for incompetence and negligence to their true responsibilities of the positions they hold.

Both the administration of the high school and Sheriff Lott have failed by leaps and bounds as leaders and mentors.

The schools administration destroyed the potential of another young American child by taking the low road and labeling her as a problem instead of influencing her with proper guidance to fight her way out of a burdened life through academic achievement. If you don’t know by now, she recently lost both parents and her grandmother and was placed in foster care. Its no wonder she’s a rebellious one.

Fields was just 27 when Sheriff Lott as well took the low road and tucked him away as an SRO and embarrassment to the force in 2008 after three related incidences of aggressive behavior. In 2006 when Fields was at the prime age of 25 years old, his first suit materialized and any real leader would of noticed that Fields was cut out for more dangerous police work such as SWAT or drug enforcement. But instead, Lott wrote him off as an embarrassment and put him on babysitting duty instead of mentoring him to go after real hardcore criminals like he was cut out to do.

Fields and this 16 year old girl are a result of two angry lives colliding. The real problem here is Lott and the schools administration for being nothing more than negligent, incompetent, and well, flat out lazy.

As far as public support for both parties involved, it seems to be cut right down the middle. I for one agree that Fields should of been fired but, I also agree he never should of been there in the first place. In all reality their department lost a good man that Lott never gave a fair chance to that wasn’t cut out to babysit. Fields was cut out to take down real criminals. Too bad Lott was too ignorant to recognize Fields true potential when hes was just a 25 year old kid.

As far as the schools administration, they need to put their balls away and show a little heart and concern for their more troubled students.

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Denozitall November 3, 2015 at 4:38 am

Put her in DJJ and give her a taste of what real troubles are like.

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Stephen Gilchrist October 31, 2015 at 9:54 pm

George thank you for making this point!!! Richland Two School District MUST revisit their policy regarding protocols for SROs.

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Tired and Retired November 1, 2015 at 8:59 am

An issue I have not seen discussed is this: How should Deputy Fields, or the next school administrator or SRO who is put in this position, handle a similar situation?
Perhaps this would not work, but my thought would be that the student in question was intent upon acting out her protest to her teacher’s request for her peers. When verbal persuasion failed, why not have the teacher and those students willing to co-operate [hopefully most] take the class to a convenient area of the school where the class could reconvene? When left alone, the recalcitrant student would soon be bored and would get up and leave. Once away from the school, a decision could be made as to the nature of the penalty she should incur [Expulsion, possible arrest, etc.]. The worse thing that might happen would be that the student might decide to sit at that desk through additional class periods. Such an act on her part would only emphasize her intent to disrupt class and it would make her act of defiance easier to prosecute.

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nitrat November 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

Why do you think “[Expulsion, possible arrest, etc.]” are appropriate as a ‘penalty’ for not putting up a cell phone and refusing to go to the office?

Is that your definition of ‘intent to disrupt’ a class is and how her ‘defiance’ (oh, she was defiant) should actually be prosecuted? I’m serious. I don’t understand the thinking of people like you who think what this kid did rose to the level that a SRO should have been called in at all, much less that it is a (real) criminal offense.

The ‘disrupting schools’ law is so vague and nebulous, I bet it could be used against a kid walking down the opposite side of the hall they had been told to use – that would be ‘defiant’ and ‘obnoxious’ – a word used in the law…IF a teacher and administrator were as totally lacking in classroom management techniques as the ones in this kid’s classroom.
( I would be willing to bet that since it was originally written in 1962, it was written to address those people who might come to a school and attempt to integrate it.)

BTW, there are numerous appropriate responses floating around on the internet. You may have to go outside the ‘conservative’ echo chamber to find out what professional educators and cops recommend, but it’s out there.

Your suggestion of what could have been done is similar to one of the most common responses that I’ve seen. The main difference in what the professionals recommend is that once you get the other kids out of the room, don’t let her sit there alone, bring someone in who has some skills dealing with the hormonal teenage brain, talk to her and find out what’s going on with her so you can get her out of the class and determine the appropriate response and discipline.

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Quietus November 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm

The law was completely rewritten in 2010 to the current verbiage as part of the Omnibus Crime Control Act. I’ve been trying to find the original verbiage and it’s almost impossible to find. Maybe I’ll take a trip to the library this week and see if it can be found in a old SC Code of Laws volume.

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