Positive role models

School resource officers more than enforcers

The Forest Fire staff

With the recent controversy surrounding our sister school, Rolesville High, we felt motivated to share our view on the situation.

For those who may not have heard, a recent video arose showing a Rolesville High School resource officer body slamming a 16-year-old student to the ground. The video went viral on Twitter and became national news.

In an interview, the victim stated that she had been trying to break up a fight when the officer slammed her to the ground.

There is speculation surrounding her statement because there are also other claims that she was fighting herself or that she had even climbed on the officer’s back.

No matter what really happened before the video was captured, body slamming a girl who clearly weighs a lot less than an adult law officer is not necessary. It definitely fits into the subject of excessive force.

Some people have tried to spin the story so that it would become an issue of race. This, however, is totally fabricated and has nothing to do with the situation. In this case, the main issue is the amount of force that the officer used to subdue the girl.

Just by watching the video, one can clearly see that the girl is stunned by the impact on the ground.

The bit of good that shines in this situation is how Rolesville’s principal handled the subject.

On the school’s website, Principal Dhedra Lassiter wrote a letter on the incident. She addressed how she, too, was concerned by what she saw in the video, and she talked about how student safety is her first priority. She also wrote about how she reached out to the Rolesville Police Department and how they would be launching an investigation.

The officer being investigated is now on paid leave, which is often a standard policy for all investigations. People are saying that he shouldn’t be paid at all, but they must understand that this is just the way the investigation process works. After the final conclusions are drawn, necessary action will be taken.

We don’t know the full truth of what really happened before the video was taken, but we hope that the truth will be found and that the proper steps will be taken to enact justice.

School resource officers are the first chance many students may have to develop a positive relationship with the police. These officers should serve as a safe haven, and their presence would ideally cause students to feel safer at school.

With resource officers such as former Officer Babson and current Officer Robert Woyicki at Wake Forest, this was possible and the typical experience. This is the kind of relationship we wish all WCPSS students could have with their student resource officers during their time at school.