No Student Deserves Violence

The amount of force used against the Spring Valley High School girl is unconscionable and unjustified. We need to stop victim blaming! Whatever happened to homeroom or Saturday detention. Blaming the girl is exactly why this cop got away with it before. Society blames the victim. No one deserves to be on the receiving end of such violence, especially a student in the “safe zone” of a school. But for the video, the assaulted girl would have no defense. She’s already defenseless having just lost her mother. A parent can not spank, but a young girl can be manhandled like an inmate and it’s her fault for Sassin’? The punishment does not fit the infraction.

I’ve taught college and mentored high school students. My sister is a public school teacher. I am not saying that students don’t challenge you. However, arrested for using a phone?! Kids as young as 6 are being arrested for tantrums – most have special needs or disabilities. Arrested for spit balls, not having hall passes, throwing a snowball, joking, farting, and violation of uniform code by not wearing a belt. This is not rational nor reasonable. The action taken was not necessary. We are criminalizing normal teenage behavior and giving kids a permanent record. In high school, we had food fights and kids talked back. No one was ever assaulted or arrested. You got detention. Instead of educated child specialists disciplining students, we’ve left it to law enforcement.

Did the teacher or principal take into account that maybe she was acting out because she lost a parent and was in foster care? Why not have a counselor or social worker get involved? I lost my dad as an adult and I nearly broke down. She’s a kid. These are not adults, but kids.

If that girl were a lion, dog, or cat, people would be outraged.

Have we forgotten about the judges that took bribes to send teens to private juvenile detention centers? For more information on how “zero tolerance” school policies have created a “school to prison” pipeline, read this ABA Journal article and Washington Post article.


Ronda Lee
Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Ronda is an attorney, writer, and entrepreneur. She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in Los Angeles and New York. She loves to travel and is passionate about education equity, especially for first generation college students.