WARNING: The video within this article contains graphic footage of assault on a minor
Vance County Schools in North Carolina filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office on Friday after a student from Vance County Middle School was body-slammed while walking down the hallway.
But his physical attacker was not a fellow student.
Instead, the perpetrator was a school resource officer (SRO).
You can see the disturbing footage here.
This is most definitely assault..
— Ramona Wilson (@RamonaTrw) December 14, 2019
SROs are law enforcement officers who work with administrative and security staff at elementary, middle and high schools to ensure the safety of students and staff. But someone assumed to protect the children while at school appears to have committed a major violation of that trust by assaulting him.
This incident is one of several where students, parents and even school staff are calling out SROs for using excessive force against students.
A surveillance camera caught the sheriff’s deputy walking the juvenile—described by news outlets to be under the age of 12—and suddenly picking him up and throwing him against the wall and on the floor, more than once, before dragging him down the hall.
The footage was obtained by CBS 17.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is now looking into the shocking incident.
If it’s paid leave, then it’s a vacation.
— Scott DeBerg (@ScottyDdoogie) December 15, 2019
When reviewing the horrific footage, Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said they were “stunned” and “shocked.”
“We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us.”
The unnamed SRO has been placed on paid leave while the investigation is pending.
State, city, and county Human Resources professionals need to learn how to use more effective psychological screening tools BEFORE they hire police officers such as the SRO hired for @VanceCountyMS in Henderson NC by Sheriff Curtis Brame. https://t.co/g4nGW2xhaz
— Preston MacDougall (@ChemicalEyeGuy) December 15, 2019
The public was infuriated after learning of the cop’s light punishment.
— Andy Sellers (@MrsAndySellers) December 16, 2019
I don’t care the instigating cause, thatbwas an assault and should be treated with arrest, not suspension.
Thin blue line should not be a big blue coverup.
— Compdave (@DaveReichard) December 14, 2019
No excuses. This cop needs fired. Stripped of his pension. Arrested and confined for assault. Child Abuse. And Several other charges.https://t.co/MgVYJ69fZB
— Whyte Wolf (@whytewolf7) December 16, 2019
There is no excuse for this child didn’t look combative prior to justify it. He is still the adult and this could have been handled better. Total abuse of authority.
— Teela’s Corner (@teelalow) December 16, 2019
This SRO, a Sheriff’s Deputy, body-slammed a child under 12 (also, under his protection) to the ground & was put on paid leave. How was he not arrested for serious assault under NC law (+ child abuse), Vance County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina SBI? https://t.co/of7b0ZvYlb
— Ka Wade (@KadambariM) December 16, 2019
Some expressed opposition to employing police as a disciplinary tactic for students.
School Resource Officers shouldn’t even be a thing. There should be more councilors and mental health specialists. Not militarized police to drag kids into the school to prison pipeline.
— The High Crimes of Well-Heeled Boys (@TasteeW) December 13, 2019
WNCN obtained a statement from the school district, expressing their concern for the violence that transpired at the middle school.
“I don’t expect my deputy or any deputy or law enforcement in North Carolina to carry out their duties in that way. The safety of our students has been and continues to be of the utmost importance to our district.”
Content warning for police brutality and abuse
Police do not belong in schools.
This was right here in NC. Vance County
The officer get's paid leave, the student gets traumatized
— michael ☭ Ⓥ 🇮🇹🇵🇷 (@ReadAndAct_) December 16, 2019
Has the “resource officer” been fired? Punishment should be someone bigger than him/her picking him/her up and throwing him/her to the ground, then once again, just for good measure. Who IS this abhorent human being? Too afraid to name him/her?
— Scott DeBerg (@ScottyDdoogie) December 14, 2019
Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said that the extent of the boy’s injuries could determine the charges.
“When the collection of evidence is over, whether it’s some time early next week, or sometime thereafter, we will promptly make a decision about what is appropriate to do in this case,”
The boy’s father told CBS 17 he was recovering at home, and his sister confirmed her brother will be OK.
The student may be not have sustained significant injuries, but the emotional scars from the traumatic incident may never be forgotten.