I haven’t posted in quite a spell, me.  Busy training and writing my third book (this one, ironically, on de-escalation of aggression).  But, early this morning, here comes a video shown on CBS This Morning that snapped me out of my reverie.  A cellphone recorded vision of a big, white officer hoisting a small, black girl to about head-height and then unceremoniously slamming her to the deck.  Then. to top off his act of subject control, the officer dragged the girl across the classroom floor.  This went down on Monday, January 2, at a South Carolina High School by Deputy Ben Fields, unbelievably a school resource officer.

Predictably, the deputy is under suspension, his actions are the subject of FBI scrutiny and both the school and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office are being sued by the girl’s family (the girl is under medical care for a possible concussion).

To me, though, the cogent point is the continuing need for school districts and police departments that supply resource officers to train their staff on how to safely, effectively, and professionally manage predictable disruptive and/or violent student behavior.  In this particular case, the officer was (over) reacting to a melee in the Spring Valley High School (Columbia, S.C.) classroom.  The girl, who was body slammed, was attempting to break up a fight between two of her classmates, when she was assaulted.

If you are interested in exactly how to safely and effectively separate fighting students, peruse my past posts and you will see at least four posts on how to accomplish this act without injury to either the fighters or the separator(s).

But, in summary:

  • Always approach from the rear.
  • Use loud, repetitive verbal commands.  Identify yourself.
  • “Stop Fighting, I am a police officer/teacher/security!”
  • Use a balance-displacement technique and move the student to a safe location.
  • Verbally reassure the student
  • There are several separating techniques that can do the trick, quickly and without injury.  They are easy to learn and easy to do.  No law suit.   No concussion  No accusations of racial prejudice.  No career destruction.
  • It is called training.  Disruptive Student Management and/or De-escalation.

Until my next post, stay safe.  Use common sense and be kind to others.



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