Ever since I have been taking my hiatus from this blogging, I have noticed plenty of uptick on the internets dealing with Spring Valley High School. By this time, we have all heard the circus of opinions either for, or against, the student’s behavior. We all have seen the officer and how he was either “abusive” or “doing his job” (whatever the hell that means). It seems as if many of us have opinions that are quite invested through experiences. And those experiences have led to much debate and discussion.
And here I am; adding more food to an already overcrowded pantry of opinions.
That’s fine. I’m going to feel inspired to speak on this situation anyway.
Spring Valley High in A Situational Sense
The biggest thing about this situation is that I am a teacher. And being a teacher, I knew I was bound to get both ends of the opinion pendulum.
Do you want clarity? I got clarity for you all: yes, I believe the student was wrong in her actions.
“Shakara” (as her lawyer named her) should have been more compliant. She should have never had her cell phone out. When they asked her to leave, she should have complied. When the vice principal tried to intervene, she should have complied then. And even when she seen the officer approach she should have (you guessed it) complied. You see, the name of the cop-to-civilian relation game is compliancy.
Hell, even RSCD Sheriff Leon Lott made it clear that “If she had not disrupted that school disrupted that class, we would not be standing here today”.
Spring Valley High Has Its Own Confusion
Still, the vast majority of the people that I know have one hearty message to spread: fuck your compliance.
That’s right, I’m going to put it out there: screw all of that compliance bullshit that really means nothing at the end of the day.
Be reminded that I am, as I mentioned before, a teacher. Heck, I probably will end up giving detention to one of the students next week. I have seen and dealt with a plethora of levels of disrespect, lack of social function, and plain old ignorance. Between kids playing the system against the teachers and parents not knowing how to parent, I tend to be in a bind. So trust me: I felt the possible frustration that the teacher dealt with.
Still, if you think that Ben “Officer Slam” Fields was justified, then you are totally out of your rabbit ass mind. We can use his past of racially targeting students in the past. You can use the fact that he is in pretty good shape and bench presses hundreds of pounds. Many are taking the little-girl-to-big-grown-man angle. All of the considered approaches are valid and make sense. With all that is given, Ben Fields is easily considered to be wrong as two left shoes on a paraplegic.
But let us look at the biggest problem that we all noticed: as the last resort, he didn’t diffuse the situation. Looking at this female’s background, one should notice that all she knew at the present moment was “loss”. “Shakara” is a young lady without a stable immediate family living in foster care. She was quiet, introverted, and in a new school. In her mind, of course, she didn’t comply: she probably felt that the situation of her pulling out her cell phone was not a big issue.
And what did the police officer do? He made a sticky situation worse by pouring a big bottle of abuse glue into the fray.
No “conversation to ease the situation”. No type of “let me relate to this child so we can move on”. No type of “feeling the situation out”. No type of “let me fully understand this young lady’s position”. All we have is to “either comply or get tossed like a rag doll”.
Spring Valley High Conclusion
And people will disagree with the majority of what I have to say and I am okay with that. Yet, Ben Fields is fired. Many will say he was fired over abuse. And yes, that is true. However, he committed a bigger error than the overuse of physical contact. He didn’t do his job: to protect and SERVE.
This is Tamir Rice. This is Jordan Davis. This is that young lady brutalized by the police during a pool party.
Spring Valley High is the microcosm of America. And America, for many people, means “Comply or (Possibly) Die”.
Thank God the latter didn’t occur.