Hazel Township, PA — A disturbing video was shared with the Free Thought Project this week showing a school cop punch and pull the hair of a teen girl as guards held her arms behind her back.
The video was uploaded to Facebook Monday by a student at Hazelton Area High School. "This is wrong on so many levels this man violated her patrón talk so much shit when it comes to keeping the school 'safe' wonder how he gonna fix this smh what a school.????????," the student's post read.
The video shows a 15-year-old student being restrained by multiple officers and guards. As the girl's hands are behind her back, one of the officers begins punching her.
After punching the girl multiple times, the girl is then slammed face first into the table as the officer begins pulling her hair. The alleged abuse set the rest of the students off who quickly surrounded the scene and began screaming at the officers to stop.
According to authorities, police responded to the cafeteria that day because there was an altercation involving several students.
"The students who were detained were involved in a large altercation with other students in the cafeteria," said the superintendent of the Hazleton Area School District, Brian Uplinger.
Uplinger defended the actions of the officers and said they handled the situation properly as they were trained to do.
"The security officers and school police officers were within the scope of their training to detain these individuals. Had they not, there would have been additional injuries to other students within the cafeteria," said Uplinger, according to Buzzfeed news.
"It’s important to know there are always two sides to every story and it's really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media," he said.
School District Police Chief Ed Harry agreed with Uplinger and noted that his officers acted appropriately.
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“At that point, the officer had to get that under control immediately. You can see from the snippet of video there were hundreds of kids in the cafeteria and they were yelling and cheering her on. They needed to deescalate that " Chief Harry Noted.
According to the school district the officers arrested the girl in the video, along with three others, who are all facing expulsion. For a schoolyard fight, these kids will now have an uphill battle for the rest of their lives.
As you watch the video below, try to imagine how these officers thought that punching the girl—who was entirely under control and being held by four grown men—and pulling her hair, somehow "deescalated" this situation.
Adolescent quarrels are a frequent occurrence. As hormones rush in, children attempt to assert control over their environment as well as other children and the result can often manifest into a fight.
In the past, if a fight were to break out at school, the teachers, and in some cases the students, would rush in to pull the students apart. However, as the video above illustrates, this is no longer the case. Now, armed police officers rush in, begin punching girls and pulling hair.
Sadly, as schools across the country rely more and more on police to force student compliance, instead of training and common sense, this scenario becomes more common.
In a single week, TFTP reported on two other instances of school police caught on video violently attacking children.
In one video, a massive deputy grabs a 16-year-old boy by the neck and sprays him directly in the face with pepper spray. The boy was not the one fighting.
In another video, another massive deputy grabs another 16-year-old boy and body slams him to the ground like a rag doll. The incident was so overwhelmingly disturbing that the school had to be placed on lockdown after students began to revolt.
Something has to change.