Over 100 students at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina walked out on Friday to show their support of resource officer Deputy Ben Fields.
The walkout occurred at approximately 10:00 a.m. Approximately 100 students left their classrooms and joined together in the atrium to express their views on Fields being fired. While their original intent was to leave the building, the students did not walk off of the high school campus. Several students, both black and white, wore makeshift t-shirts that read “Free Fields” or “#BringBackFields.” According to WTLX 19, the students sent pictures and videos of their walkout to the news station via social media.
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Senior London Harrell was one of the students to participate in the walkout, and said she wanted her opinion to be heard by those who made the decision to fire Deputy Fields.
“We just want to show that we’re still supporting him and everything and that he’s still a good guy, and everything and we don’t want his reputation to be ruined because of something that happened on Monday,” Harrell said.
Spring Valley High Principal Jeff Temoney sent a letter to the student’s parents following the walkout, explaining what had happened.
“I addressed the students to let them know that we understood their need to make their voices heard,” Temoney wrote. “Then I reminded them that Spring Valley High is all about the business of teaching and learning, so it’s time to go back to class.”
At least one student caught Temoney’s words on video and shared them on social media.
“We’ve heard your voices, okay,” the administrator told the protesters. “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.”
Temoney said all of the students were back in their classrooms within 10 minutes and the day continued in a “safe and productive manner.” He also said none of the students will be suspended for their protest.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, a video of Fields forcibly removing a teenage girl from her desk went viral earlier this week. The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. The girl was working on her computer and had her cell phone out. Her teacher asked her to put the phone away, but she refused. The teacher then asked her to leave the classroom, but again, she said no. An administrator was then called to the classroom, and pleaded with the girl to leave the room. The student still wouldn’t budge. That is when Deputy Fields was called to the classroom.
When Fields entered the class, he spoke to the girl and asked her to remove herself from her seat. She refused. He then asked another student to move a desk, and he moved the girl’s computer off of her desk. He asked her again to get up, but she was still being defiant. That is when things turned physical.
“He asked her again, ‘will you move, will you move.’ She said ‘no I have not done anything wrong.’ Then he said, ‘I’m going to treat you fairly.’ And she said ‘I don’t even know who you are.’ And that is where it started right there,” Tony Robinson Jr., who recorded the incident, recalled.
Fields is then seen dragging the girl from her desk and slamming her onto the ground to place her under arrest.
Ben Fields was originally placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the incident took place. However, he has since been fired, which is why the Spring Valley High School students decided to stage their walkout.
[Photo via Twitter]