Spring Valley High School students staged a TV-ready public walkout on Friday to show support for school cop Ben Fields, who was fired after a video showed him struggling to drag a disruptive black student out of the classroom.
At least 100 students walked out class at 10.00 am, and into the school atrium to confront the school’s administrators.
Many students wore shirts that said, “Bring Back Fields.”
Principal Jeff Temoney promised no suspensions if the students “returned to class.”
“We’ve heard your voices, okay,” he said. “We appreciate you taking time to do this, but again, as you know, we always focus on teaching and learning, so let’s head on back to class.”
— Cassibry (@JCass_12) October 30, 2015
The majority of the high school is black, and many participated in the walkout.
— Cassibry (@JCass_12) October 29, 2015
“He was a great guy,” explained student London Harrell. “He protected us and everything. He was our school resource officer. We always could depend on him and everything. Every time I saw him, he was always joking around with people. It was never like ‘Oh, I’m about to body-slam you.'”
One student retweeted the thanks that people gave her for showing support for Fields.
— Angela Schultz (@amschultz71) October 30, 2015
In return, the student received a hate-tweet.
— MARCUS D.HIGGINS (@MACCAPONE) October 31, 2015
On Tuesday, people posted videos of Fields pulling a student out of a chair and dragging her to the floor. The video went viral, picking up the #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh hashtag on Twitter. However, witnesses claimed the student was disruptive and would not leave.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott fired Fields a day later, because he “did not follow proper procedure.” He admitted, though, that the student “behaved badly.”