There was recently, an incident at Central High School that brought up the debate of police brutality vs. police protection in School. According to stories in the Twin Cities news A 16 year old boy, who was not a student of Saint Paul Public Schools was roaming the school without permission. School Officer responded to situation and ended up using pepper spray and arresting the young man for trespassing. High School students observing the incident filmed the young man being arrested. Black Lives Matter Movement caught onto the story and assembled a protest at Central High School calling it Police Brutality.
As and n employee for Saint Paul Public Schools these articles and videos brought many questions to my mind. For example…What was the young man’s purpose or motive of being on school premises? Did he have weapons? Did he come to the school to threaten, beat up, or cause disruption? Did he have a bomb? Was he gang associated? Why is he out of school himself at 16 years old? With all that is going on in the news about gangs and young adult shootings we have been recently in the Twin Cities. It’s understandable we want to protect our young adults as much possible.
In my opinion, the police officer was called in when the situation was escalated to a high level where protection was needed. I believe the officer used his training he had to get the student off the school premises where he did not belong. When an officer comes to situations he is also putting his himself in harm’s way and asking himself some of the same questions I did above. I think the officer was protecting the school, students, staff and young trespasser to best of his abilities and training. I think about what if their was a trespassing student in my building that was asked to leave by multiple by adults and he refused, it would cause panic and chaos. Students would be cheated and distracted out of learning time, staff would become on edge, and school procedures such as lock down might need to occur to assure the safety of all involved. When I think about the possibilities or what ifs this situation could have brought it really scares me. I’m glad schools and school officers have procedures and ways to address trespassers so that bigger and tragic situations don’t occur more often. I believe we should all work together to keep our schools safe from harm.
To check out articles on this situation written by the Pioneer Press click on the links below…