We’ve all seen the videos on national news of small, grade school-aged children being placed in cuffs by a police officer for something that started as a school discipline problem.
We’ve all seen other videos on national news of high school-aged children being taken down to the ground by police officers over a situation that started as a discipline problem.
A video circulated on social media showing a police officer in middle of subduing a student at Logan High School has started a firestorm of controversy surrounding issues of policing, discipline and race.
The situation reportedly started when a student refused to remove his hood.
The video showed the aftermath of police officer taking a student to the ground.
After the video spread on social media, a group of concerned parents and community members went to the school demanding answers about the situation. Members of the group reportedly alleged the situation was racially motivated.
The precipitating events to the take-down were not shown in the video, and the details of the event could not immediately be found.
Until all of the details of the events leading up to the video emerge, it is my opinion that the officer’s judgment should be trusted.
But that does not mean I am against a full and vigorous investigation into the actions of the student, the officer and teachers and administrators.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but that does not change the facts of the story as we know them.
Making a choice to fall on one side of the argument or other is your is your right, but I believe there should be other options.
It is my belief that ignoring the fact the situation is being perceived (correctly or incorrectly) as being racially motivated by members of the public is wrong.
I believe it would have been malfeasance to ignore the racial element when writing the story.
It is also my belief that it would have been wrong to write the story without mentioning reports of the student choosing to ignore the commands of a police officer.
I must add that I believe Officer Maynard should have never have been put into that situation — a situation that reportedly started as an issue with student discipline.
Police officers were put in schools for a very good reason. Officers like Everett Maynard are tasked with protecting the world’s most valuable resource — its future generations.
I support police officers with all my heart. I salute them for doing an incredibly dangerous job which is largely thankless.
I support having police officers in schools to guard against the unthinkable atrocities we’ve come to know as “active shooter situations” that can occur in those settings.
However, I do not support the use of police officers in solving discipline problems in schools.
If the student refused to comply with the commands of teachers and administrators to remove his hood, that is a discipline problem.
It is my solemn belief that unless the student produced a weapon, was found to have drugs, threatened the life of a teacher or student or had committed some other legal transgression, a police officer should not have been needed to diffuse that situation.
It is my opinion police are tasked with dealing with too many issues which civilian society could solve on its own.
Police are on the front line of issues like the opioid and heroin epidemics, police are often on the front line of dealing with people who have mental health issues and, now, police are being expected to deal with little Johnny when he acts up in school.
A student having a discipline problem is not a police matter, and I believe leaning on a school resource officer for discipline issues can put both the officer and the student in a no-win situation.
Perhaps the call should not have been made to the police but to the child’s parents.
When you call for the police, there’s a good chance someone may get arrested.
When you call for the parents of a child having a discipline problem, there’s a good chance a proper and fitting punishment will be meted out at home.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 or by email at [email protected]