South Carolina’s law against disturbing schools, often called the “Disturbing Schools Law,” is under fire following a video of a white cop slamming a black student on the floor in a South Carolina school.
The event was taped by one of the students in the class.
The student in the video refused to put her cell phone away and refused to leave the classroom at the Spring Valley High School in Columbia. The event occurred last October and received considerable backlash, as the police officer in the video was seen as being too aggressive.
The officer pulled the student out of her chair, slammed her on the ground and handcuffed her over her refusal to put away her cell phone.
The officer in question was dismissed for his actions. A federal civil rights investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Legal experts are challenging the vague law in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday. The law criminalizes anybody that “acts in an obnoxious manner” or “disturbs, in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school.”
Niya Kenny, a student in the classroom at the time the video was taken, was also arrested and charged with disrupting the class because she stood up and cursed at the police officer for his actions.
“I was just terrified through the whole day,” stated Ms. Kenny. The now 18-year-old was fingerprinted, had a mugshot taken and spent hours in an adult detention center as a result of her cursing at the police officer.
The police report and account of the events that took place show Ms. Kenny was using profanity and saying the police officer’s actions were unfair.
As a result of the strict law, 1,200 students per year are arrested. A large number of students are black. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) states “the law creates an impossible standard for school children to follow and for police to enforce with consistency. and fairness.”