Those were the facts when a video shot on fellow students’ cellphones went viral displaying the school resource officer’s actions; the student, a female’s initial infraction, the word we will be using since she committed no actual crime, being on her cellphone in class, possibly chewing gum, then refusing to relinquish said phone to the teacher, finally refusing to leave class after failure to follow given instructions. For this the school resource officer was brought in, apparently after other administrators failed, to remove her from the class where you see him bodily try to remove her from the unsteady desk, his forearm around her neck, desk tipping over dumping her into the floor; once he fully extricates her from the desk, he uses the momentum that took to throw her several inches to the front of the classroom with more space, out of the narrow aisle between the desk and the wall, getting on top of her, yanking her hands behind her back to place her in handcuffs, shocked students and passive teacher looking on. Almost immediately dueling opinions emerged most outraged at the treatment given the, granted 16 year old kid, but still a child, in school for things that used to get us detention, at worst a suspension; many more however believe, in the era of ‘badder and badder kids’ doing increasingly dangerous things at school to their peers, their teachers, administrators, being unheard of levels of defiant, physically violent toward adults holding no respect, deference to authority, the student got exactly what she deserved feeling it will teach her a lesson. Equally disturbing the sheer volume, number of comments asking how else the officer was supposed to remove her, noncompliant, from the desk, from the room; adding to the excessive nature of what went on in what was supposed to be algebra class, because South Carolina has a bizarre law, criminal offence on the books called disruption of a school, she will now be charged in what is assumed juvenile court, earning her a police record. Meanwhile school officials were quick to call what transpired on the video ‘reprehensible, unforgivable and inconsistent with everything this district stands for’ yet contradiction of contradictions, he was hired to begin with and honored just last year as an ‘exceptional role model.’ Days later the officer was fired, not for his needlessly forceful removal of the passive student from the classroom, where her attorney alleges she sustained significant injury, at the very least to her arm, but for throwing her across the room, at which point his boss, sheriff Leon Lott, stated he lost control of her; shouldn’t that be he lost control of himself? Commenting during the press conference the video made him want to throw up; still not missing a chance to outline how incidents that took place were entirely the student’s fault using the words she started the whole thing. Familiar too, outside the chronically delinquent, disruptive behavior of young people everywhere, but according to adults ‘especially in school,’ the officer, one deputy Ben Fields has a history of complaints against him a currently pending one involving a possible wrongful expulsion and a years old one for, we didn’t need a crystal ball to see this coming, excessive force. Possibilities substantiated by student statements ‘when deputy Fields came in there everyone knew what was soon about to happen;’ also explaining why students en mass just sat silent watching, corroborating news anchor comment students were terrified. Compounding the wrongness of all that happened in this South Carolina classroom isn’t race, the officer white, the student black, instead, that when a student tried to stand up for her friend, her classmate, her fellow human being, object to the violent treatment doled out, she too was placed under arrest. We now arrest people who try to intervene in wrongdoing, misconduct, even by authority, not to be confused with interference, and we don’t mean handcuffing everyone to sort out what happened, to control a crowd long enough to determine facts, but arrested for questioning what was happening, trying to stop needless violence. So is the lesson theirs, the miscreant young people who laugh and spit in the face of authority, no longer spanked at home, in school, no longer disciplined in either place with impactful measures that imprint the concept don’t do that again, creating fearless youth that cannot be the least bit controlled, or is it ours, the older people, the adults who need a lesson in what not to do when confronted with young people who no longer take our age induced, implied authority as a given coming to a profound understanding of why that is? Authority was never as benevolent, all knowing and incorruptible as we have long believed it to be.
Because what went wrong here had little to do with race, the media blasted for ‘highlighting,’ and by that public decriers mean mentioning, the race of the persons involved and much more to do with how everyone from beginning to end handled something that never should have gone beyond the school, beyond school disciplinary measures. Though those truly ‘making it about race’ are the commenters posting racist, inflammatory statements like “Please send these niggers into their cages where they belong,” or “If it’s back, don’t call the police call animal control,” all of the above accounting for the skeptical tone used in the opening. Firstly conflicting reports have the student texting and/or chewing gum as her purported disruption of class, why she was eventually asked to leave refusing to get off her phone; since when does anyone care, at the high school level, if you chew gum? How did the teacher come to know she was on her phone unless it was making noise seeing they all had chrome books open to whatever activity; unless it was a case of we’re teaching kids to tattle even in high school, someone saying teacher, teacher, she’s on her phone. At which point he stops conducting the lesson to handle a breach of policy, enforce school policy instead of continuing class; because it has become more important to impart policy, rules than information and knowledge. Again conflicting classmate accounts state the phone was quiet, she was unresponsive, not participating in class the reason for her confrontation with the teacher. Still rather make a joke turning the whole class’ attention to her, to compel her by peer pressure to put away the offending phone, stop smacking the gum or to at least try and answer the question, tell the students to ignore her and the phone, resume teaching class, because they want to pass and she likely won’t, starting a tally of how many days she came to class and spent it on her phone oblivious to the lesson; then, when she does poorly on the next quiz, flunked the next test and is begging for tutoring help, extra credit work, say no citing the recorded information. If the parent came demanding their child be helped refer them to the many days their child was more interested in their phone than math; holding to a firm no, imposing practical, creative discipline, real life/world consequences. Or, assuming this went on for an entire school week, contact the parent alerting them to what’s going on, let them deal with it; this teacher chose to be antagonistic by insisting she stop being on the phone, insist she give it up, finally insisting she leave the room, and when that didn’t work, called in people to remove her from the room, ultimately taking away learning time from well behaved students. Facts pointed out via the following public observation; “In this case, it was the teacher who caused a whole classroom of kids to sit around. Other students have said that they didn’t see the girl on her phone (not saying she wasn’t – I don’t know; I wasn’t there), so she obviously wasn’t too disturbing or distracting. They say she was sitting quietly in her seat, not disturbing anyone. By making such a big deal, it was the teacher, administrator, and cop who actually disrupted the class. They are the ones who should really be arrested under South Carolina’s weird “disturbing schools” law.” Multiple educators weighing in saying virtually the same thing depending on the school policy regarding cellphones; “If there’s no policy about simply having cell phones in class, I’d have just ignored the phone. After all, just because a teacher might find something personally annoying doesn’t make it “wrong” or “against the rules”. (Sadly, I’ve worked with far too many teachers who seem to think that their personal “pet peeves” have the power of law. They don’t.) Now, if phones are supposed to be put away during class, I’d ask her to please put it away. I certainly wouldn’t tell her to give it to me, because that’s an antagonistic approach…and teachers are *supposed* to be grownups. If she said no, I’d ask her why not. I might even make a joke. Something like “trying to get out of math class, are you?” Get the class (and maybe her) laughing. WITH me. Or I could ask if there was some sort of emergency…anything we can help with, since she seems to stressed. In other words…I would NOT be antagonistic. But I would try to get not just her, but the *other* students on my side. Why? Because peer pressure, if needed, is a LOT more effective than failed “authority”. I would NOT call an administrator. And I would NOT call a SRO. Why not? Because that only escalates the situation. Nor would I make ineffective threats, because that merely diminishes whatever authority I actually have. Now, you might think this means I was letting her “win”. But my goal is to get everyone focused on class and on learning the subject of the class…not on silly little power…ego…trips that could, as in this case, end in violence. As the grownup, that should NEVER be the teacher’s choice. After all, *we* actually have the ultimate power. It’s called “grading” 🙂 By the way, if I truly felt it serious enough, I’d let her cell phone just sit on her desk…then go down to the office AFTER class (rather than taking learning time away from *all* the kids). I’d explain what happened and why I made the choice I did. I hope this helps.” [Sic] Next, the administrator reportedly brought in failing on 2 levels not limited to unsuccessfully getting the ‘unruly’ girl out of the room, but failing to address their faculty member perhaps in the hallway about better controlling his classroom, not backing himself into a corner like this, advising him to ignore the again, passive girl in the chair, next time bring the office referral to me and we’ll get them between classes as opposed to the middle of class causing a scene. Administrator making the ‘command decision’ to bring in the school resource officer; utmost question is why, as opposed to calling the parent to retrieve their child even if it is from math class. Then the teacher chillingly having zero reaction at all when things turn violent, saying nothing, going so far as to at one point casually step out of the officers way as he continues to manhandle the girl into handcuffs like it was something he saw daily. Honestly how much teaching did he think he was going to be able to achieve after exposing students to a display like that; how likely was he to get them to refocus on the lesson and how stupid was he to go that far over a phone? Considering the modern era, student response to new policies banning clothing, changing texts, what if it had been an act of civil disobedience; would multiple students have been subject to identical treatment? Because we have never seen that before; except we have, occupy Wall Street protesters at a California university were doused with mace or pepper spray, Ferguson protesters tear gassed on their own front lawns. And if we wouldn’t do it to non-violent protesters, why would we do it to a non-violent minor student; several entities pointing out had a parent done this to their child, had the teacher been the one to touch the student in such a manner the former would be in jail and the latter out of a job. Where is the public ambiguity here?
Once the officer is involved it should have meant cooler heads prevailed; sadly the opposite, not only does he continue to escalate things by using confrontational language contrary to de-escalation tactics police officers, officers assigned to schools are taught by issuing a question or an ultimatum in audio heard where he says one of two things “are you going to come with me or am I going to make you” or, “Either you’re going to come with more or I’m going to make you.” Confrontational demeanor repeated later when the friend steps in and he looks at her, according to testimony, saying “you want some of this too;” you’re going to jail too, proceeding to place her in handcuffs and march her from the classroom. Secondly he, upon closer examination of the video, puts his forearm around the girl’s neck, where accusations she punched him tend to come in; what you actually see closely scrutinizing the video, is her instinctively trying to remove his arm from her neck, which was doubtlessly at least partially impeding her airway, fright increasing her ‘combative’ response. Continuing, it isn’t just that the altercation to remove her from the desk, bulky cop, bulky student, those oddly shaped, too small high school desks meaning it tipped over landing her in the floor, he literally takes one hand on the back and one hand on the underside and flips the desk over sending her into the floor, on her back and head no less. Then drags her by her leg, nearly throws the desk away from her, as stated uses that momentum to throw her to the front of the room roughly putting her in handcuffs. Note, he took better care of the school’s laptop, gently closing it and moving it away from both parties before fully addressing the girl, than he did to the human being sitting in the desk minding her own business, probably because he knew any damage to it would be deducted from his paycheck; distorted priorities anyone? But congruent with a guy known to sections of the student population as officer slam; that’s right he was given the aforementioned nickname for a habit of body slamming, rough treatment of select students at that school. CNN’s Sunny Hostin 100% correct countering Don Lemon, you don’t need to see more, ‘complete’ video footage to determine what happened, what you see starts with the officer coming into the room and ends with the student in handcuffs; similar to the substitute teacher seen via a 35 second video chasing students with a belt from his own pants, what’s presented is so bad, so beyond the pale there is no question it’s wrong, over the line, depicting an unquestionably out of control adult surpassing ‘out of control’ students. Like the Kentucky school resource officer who let an 8-year-old’s trip to the bathroom disintegrate into an occasion to require handcuffs that had to be applied to his forearms because of his small size, the on camera wave Daniel Pentalio gave moments after choking Eric Garner, the smiling mug shot of Adrian Peterson after graphic photos of the supposed spanking he gave his 4-year-old son depicting bruises and scabbed lashes, the Facebook posted spanking of Demecio Powell (60 plus strikes with a belt) where the mother dared viewers to call DFS, the officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice who was almost fired from his prior precinct due to poor gun handling and an inability to manage stress, the proof of something deeper, more sinister is what’s going on behind the scenes, off camera, in other places; i.e. Fields on camera smiling before learning of his employment’s termination, seemingly aware of the camera’s presence, statement released shows him unworried, unapologetic and unconcerned about what he ‘had to’ do. No, Joy Reid it isn’t the awkward position we put school resource police officers in forcing them to alternate unexpectedly between friend/mentor mode and professional capacity, instead it goes to the psychology of those allowed to be cops, the psychology of a nation who largely sees nothing wrong with what he did, despite the smiling photo; because, not once did the officer walk in, ask what needed to be done, and in response, pull teacher and administrator from the room saying this isn’t what I’m here for, never did he question why it was so important to remove her from the room when she is non-violent, suggest alternatives such as detention, suspension or informing her parents, there is no report, record of him going to his boss saying, if this is what being a school resource officer means, please put me on another assignment. Remember, he was not brought in because the student was suspected of gang, drug activity, criminal behavior, bullying, skipping class, stealing school or other students’ property, being violent at any time let alone being violent in class; he was called because she was on her phone, chewing gum, they were mid lesson so she wasn’t using her phone to cheat on a test, run a test answer scheme, then after being confronted by the teacher refused to exit the room, refused to come with him when he showed up and the video is his reaction. Also not recorded, reported any information indicating this student was a chronic discipline problem, had a lengthy disciplinary history at the school or a juvenile record for any offenses; demonstrating Ben Fields never should have been made a cop, certainly not a school resource officer owing to, ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams and the school resource officer interviewed by Nightline were absolutely right, you expect school resource officers to understand adolescent behavior, mental health issues as well as be able to apply the specialized training for school environments, all of which he didn’t do. Contrast that to the arrest and charges filed after an Iowa bus driver assaulted a special needs student who was ‘defiant’ and threw something at the driver; students running off the bus once stopped and flagging down a patrol car. Why is his arrest, charges filed, administrative leave and probable firing to come more acceptable than the firing of now former deputy Ben fields; why are there surely a few comments admonishing this student one calling him a thug, but so many less than for a girl who was simply misbehaving in school by chewing gum and playing with her cellphone? If the kid was so ‘bad’ and the bus driver so within his rights as an adult, as an authority figure, why did the cops see fit to arrest him; why did the charges assault and child endangerment stick? Why is it kids instinctively knew both adults were wrong and we, being adults, don’t?
Regarding the original story, hardly anyone disagrees the student should have complied with directions, hardly anyone disagrees she should be punished for her actions, that punishment limited to school discipline detentions, suspensions, at the outskirts expulsion, but the educator comment in paragraph 2 also pegs some disturbing trends in schools about teacher and administrator mentalities, attitudes when interacting with students. Whether its little blue haired old ladies editing yearbook photos for modesty in Utah, school boards discussing a possible dress code for parents in Florida tired of ‘off color’ t-shirt slogans and frumpy clothes worn by parents when they drop their kids off for band practice at 6 a.m., halting the school day making a 5 year old change out of her floor length sun dress because spaghetti straps are against the rules in Texas, continually sending girls home for their revealing clothing or the disturbing lengths school officials will go to, to prove garments are or aren’t within parameters, parameters set out by bitter middle age women angry their bodies have gone to seed and pervy old men with an obvious problem. Too many do believe their pet peeves carry the power of law; too many are on little, or not so little ego power trips, believe it is letting the child win if they find a creative, non-combative, non-office referral solution to a budding discipline problem. Too many teachers seem to get into teaching not for a love of learning, not to impart knowledge, not even for the steady paycheck and health benefits but to have power over someone, something decidedly weaker than themselves they get to boss around and lord over like they feel they were once bossed around and lorded over. Too many aren’t doing what another educator, again with years of experience, describes they would to in the situation the Spring Valley teacher was presented with. “…I have taught and I have studied teaching. Good teaching is a passion of mine. Good teachers do not need to escalate a minor classroom issue such as this (some reports say she took out her cell phone while others say she was chewing gum) and classify the behavior as “disruptive”. As someone who wants to teach these are two things I would ignore. If I had a real issue with the cell phone I’d wait until after class and then ask the student if there was a problem they were anxious about and needed to check their phone for messages.(Bronfenbrenner’s “Ecology of the Learner”– there is more to the student than the classroom) The other thing I would ask myself is “how is my teaching? Am I engaging my students enough? Is it just this student or is everyone drifting off?” In no way does her behavior indicate that she is violent, verbally disruptive or threatening. She isn’t up pacing the room or tossing desks. At no point is there a need to introduce a police officer into the scenario except that a teacher feels that he is being defied and he is going to MAKE her comply or else. To me the teacher holds some culpability in this scenario too. If you can’t handle a classroom behavior like this without police intervention, you’re doing it wrong. There is a lot of good information out there for teachers. The internet is a magical place with tons of good stuff. There are books, there are classes, there is a college out there that specifically excels at teaching teachers (I’m a proud almuna though I didn’t get my ug degree in education-I did do a masters program in education there). The information is there for those who wish to become more effective teachers you just have to look for it. If your “school” doesn’t offer you support or training for classroom management then find it for yourself. You’re supposedly educated person. Get out there and find it. Do your research. Read what other teachers have done. And if you don’t want to or don’t care then perhaps you should find another profession.” Who could forget the teachers frank blog that went viral telling all the decidedly inappropriate things she wanted to place in their report cards exposing no wonder her students did so poorly subjected to her attitude, her probable burn out. Too many teachers are, for some unfathomable reason, running on the 1950’s concept I’m here to teach, you are here to learn under the impression their obligation ends when they have regurgitated the information for the day at the students; no thought to the fact they sound like Ben Stein as soporific and coma inducing as he was in Farris Bueller or those clear eyes commercials; teachers who would be offended if you asked them if they were engaging enough. Above mindsets mirroring people society wide throughout life who believe their position as unofficial neighborhood watch, home owners association board member affords them more authority than it does; look at Kim Davis, the county clerk refusing same sex couple marriage licenses, when she wasn’t referencing god’s authority she was touting her own saying she hadn’t given any authority to her office staff willing to comply with the Supreme Court, the governor, the local judge who saw fit to put her in jail, as if she were above the mentioned entities or something. Going forward, she started it loses its meaning somewhere around the 3rd grade certainly past elementary school; her standard ‘defiant’ teen behavior in no way excuses the officer’s blatant over reaction, failure to call out teacher, administration mishandling. Under no circumstances should the girl be charged in accordance with juvenile law, case clogging up the juvenile court system; this is the school to prison pipeline at work giving young people records, juvenile they may be, for things schools should be more than capable of managing, causing them to too greatly fear the minor infraction, fear police setting in motion devastating effects later in life, facts borne out by research available today. Unsurprising the disrupting schools law was put on the books in 1976 in the midst of students, particularly in the region fighting, using civil disobedience to win the right to wear casual clothes as rather than dress or uniform clothing to school, boys to have hair at or below their collars, girls to wear pants; those in power felt it being taken away and did something to get it back. Proving on the whole it’s about power, a power struggle those in charge drunk on, consumed with being in charge than it is about whether the student gets an education, whether the student learns needed, desired material a dangerous combination for schools leading to exactly what we saw, that we want to immediately blame solely on the student. And when the LA unified school district replaced suspensions with counseling and conflict resolution to reduce the carceral state as part of restorative justice policies their chief complaint wasn’t that it didn’t work wasn’t that they had more unruly kids on the whole simply not being FedExed out of class, but that they didn’t possess the proper staff and resources to effectively implement new strategy.
Nor is compliance the panacea we repeatedly make it out to be, at school, in the world, school resource officer or full-fledged police officer, serious matter to traffic violation; multitudes too quickly jump to the conclusion all she has to do was comply and she wouldn’t be injured, there would have been no violence. Examining recent police brutality incidents all Eric Garner had to do was cooperate with his arrest, all Michael Brown had to do, in addition to not steal stuff, was to do what officers told him, Freddie Gray could have avoided the whole scenario by not running when he saw 2 cops, though they had no grounds to arrest him; compliance happy persons would say her ability, willingness to follow directions saved the life of Kametra Barbour during her felony traffic stop, independent police had the totally wrong car, wrong persons and if Marlene Pinnock had not been wandering too close to the freeway, mentally ill or probably drunk, police would not have bothered her, coming calmly with the officer would have spared her, her roadside beating. Things that didn’t help John Crawford III, who like Sean Bell, what shouldn’t have walked through a store holding something he intended to, was deciding whether or not to purchase because it was a pellet gun, like Bell shouldn’t have gotten into, driven a black SUV because it might be mistaken for a drug car? Tools that probably wouldn’t have helped Zachary Hammond shot dead while police tried to arrest his date because he tried to drive away from a shouting man with a gun he may or may not have known was a cop, or the man shot in the hip by an officer while following his instruction to give him his license because he had to duck back into his vehicle for the identification, all started over a seatbelt violation. Begging the question when did it become comply or get beat, comply or die and isn’t that North Korea, not America? Hardly missed though many of these officers were cleared of wrong doing in their actions, faced no charges in the shooting deaths, violations of policy and procedure were present. Further ignored, the negative consequences of the full compliance suggested; are we really going to blame the young man in video 2 above for attempting to record his stop recounting how many people have ended up dead at police hands, for making sure the man who stopped him was indeed a police officer because we’ve never seen people impersonate law enforcement to kill maim, rape murder, except we have. What was this teen ultimately shot 7 times for, flashing his high beams at the officers car driving by him on the road (the universal signal for you have your high beams on please turn them off so you don’t blind passing motorists) when pulled over confronting the officer insisting he did have his high beams on, insisting on proof he was truly an officer before handing over license and registration and, while being asked to get out of the car, continuing to film his stop. Video becomes shaky at the end where the officer says the teen attacked him forcing him to fire, family suing for wrongful death. We call the people, fast food mangers, stupid in the final video above for following the directions of a person on the phone claiming to be a police officer as he instructs them to take one of their 18 year old employees into the office strip her naked, make her do jumping jacks, spank her repeatedly and force her to perform oral sex on the male manger failing to realize our love of authority created the perfect environment for this well-known, lasted 10 years, phone scam. It’s a variation of the Milgram experiment wherein it was discovered if a person in high enough authority told someone to do something they would no matter if it seemed to cause increasing amounts of pain. The teen worker later interviewed told the flabbergasted reporter she obeyed because she was taught an adult tells you to do something you do it. Bringing us to never taken into account, a hard look at how we got there harkening back to the days where we used to backhand kids in the mouth for cussing, send them to the principal’s office to be paddled, beaten with belts at home when they showed the slightest independence of thought that didn’t jive with the authority establishment no matter how respectful they said it. Result people who don’t possess the power to think past their social conditioning; psychologists speculating the scammer chose fast food places because everything there is done by a book, get them away from that book and they are easy to manipulate. How we got here, today with kids behaving so ‘badly,’ not wholly rejecting respect or authority, allowing permissive parenting; rather we got here chiefly by and because authority has always been petty, vindictive, arbitrary and cruel, kids equipped with high BS meters and disillusionment enough to comprehend what’s going on. Compounded by parents who tell their children roughly from age 2 to obey because you are their father, mother, relative, graduating to that is your teacher, that is a cop, fireman [insert authority figure, title here]. Beginning grade school on, never telling them why they have to follow specific rules, the chaos created if everyone cut in line, if everybody decided to jay walk, keeping your hands to yourself is respecting the rights of others, that it is courteous to stay quiet in some places, you don’t say mean things to mommy and daddy because it hurts their feelings, we haven’t given you a reason to say hurtful things, expanding that to others as the child grows developmentally. Never stopping to explain why we don’t want them doing something, why there is a particular rule, reverting back to I am your parent, who cares why that’s your teacher, the classic, because I said so, because if it takes 2 extra minutes to explain it’s too long, if it takes 5 extra words I’m not bothering. Then we send them to school, parent in videos 3 and 4 shocked her son went off on with a complete stranger on the orders of his teacher who mistook said stranger for his after school care; we somehow miraculously expect those managers to know they are being scammed, that the person is not a police officer, that they shouldn’t follow his directions. Today we send kids to school to follow more arbitrary rules than we did, stunned ourselves at the things banned in most public schools from lunch items causing allergy and choking hazards, hugging in junior high to prevent sexual harassment any hint of innuendo of any kind, tag is gone from recess and battles over clothes transcend all grades. Still we wrongly assume kids erupt in violence, defiance because they have not been taught, have no respect for authority as opposed to an extreme response to being constantly nagged about needless rules that don’t matter outside the classroom. After all there is a difference between banning food in the computer lab to protect expensive equipment, food in science class on lab days with chemicals, where your lunch could literally send the room sky high and what happened at my own high school in a faculty meeting debating the same subject where an irate teacher stood up and yelled what about all those kids selling candy bars (extracurricular activity fundraising) those too eliminated based on said teacher’s outburst.
Click here to hear the story of a man destroyed by adults’ application of arbitrary rules and corporal punishment
Click here to read for yourself what things we learned in school we now have to unlearn in the “real world.”
Never considered is that at 34 Officer Ben Fields is the last of the consistently spanked generations creating the same respect for authority, the same nearly pathological drive to treat others as badly, as cruelly, as arbitrarily as they were treated, feeling it their right and rite of passage as an adult. That being raised the way he doubtlessly was, the way we increasingly think kids should be raised, spanking to instill respect, authority above all else, a way returning with a vengeance to combat the out of control nature of everything, reinforcing comply, comply, comply created the same exaggerated response to any challenge, real or perceived, to his authority as an adult, exaggerated response to any disrespect, real or perceived, to him as a person. Realities exacerbated by giving these people any major or minor leadership role, any title, any semblance of authority they will then exploit; the saying goes absolute power corrupts absolutely. Too many people think their meager power is absolute, gives them the right to steamroll over people’s civil rights, constitutional rights, human rights and their basic autonomy as sentient beings. Look again at the Iowa bus driver video; he clearly seems to have stopped the bus and stomped back to the back of the bus because of something the kid said to him. Yes something was thrown at him as he made his way down the aisle but A it was thrown after the driver decided to stop the bus to handle the problem and B it was no more dangerous than an empty soda bottle and missed the driver completely; once standing over the student’s seat he says get up here twice, smacks him in the head, hauls him to a standing position by his jacket, says you don’t say that to me, shoves him to the ground. Instead of writing him a bus ticket and continuing on his route, if the behavior was that bad, and there is no indication it was, radio in to dispatch and have them send the police. And when a student repeatedly yells for him to stop, panic obvious in his voice, he points his finger, tells the student to shut up and sit down well after he is already sitting; oh how like Curtis Reeves who after shooting Chad Olson who would not stopped texting inside a movie theater then hit him with a paper, cardboard container of popcorn in the midst of their argument, when confronted by his wife and told what Olson was doing was no reason to shoot him, pointed his finger in her face and told her to shut the F up. People prone to mini psychotic breaks if ‘disrespected,’ ‘mouthed off to’ or are within earshot of cussing directed at them or not, done by a kid, a teen or someone simply younger than they are pointing to a clear exaggeration of importance; people who routinely can’t tell the difference between disrespect and sticking up for yourself. You have to wonder if gang bangers took a few pages out of the respect my authoritah handbook memorized by older people. Remember Robert Bates, the guy who thought he was invincible because he knew the sheriff who eventually killed a man mistaking his gun and his taser; that sheriff indicted at the end of September for failure to do his duty in expediently turn over documents related to Bates regarding an internal investigation. The cop dealing with the teen shot 7 times couldn’t conceive he actually did have his high beams on; thankfully the cop who threatened to put a hole in a drivers head after he went the wrong way through a rotary during his first time in town was immediately put on leave. Never considered is kids and teens are not prone to violence, disrespect of authority solely due to lackadaisical parenting, a me, me, me self-indulgent society promoting instant gratification and glorifying bad behavior, the government taking away parents’ rights to discipline their kids by spanking, schools that no longer house the treat either, but are simply watching the shenanigans of older people in their lives thinking when I’m an adult that’s how I’m allowed to behave, the older I get the more obnoxious I can be. Seeing larger authority figures do things like what deputy Fields did and get away with it, as they often have, only reinforces this almost subconscious message; proving we need to regulate our own behavior, regulate authority figure behavior to reasonable limits before we expect anything to change.