SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The family of a 15-year-old Broome High School student filed a lawsuit accusing a school resource officer of being so rough that the student ended up on the ground and unconscious.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday, May 20. According to the student’s attorney, Fletcher N. Smith Jr., the incident started with his client’s classmate allegedly being bullied by another student.
Smith described the incident as brutal.
He said his client saw what happened but refused to give a statement to school officials because she said her mother told her not to get involved.
The first video clip showed the student sitting on the ground when the officer tried to get her up and she ends up face down yelling at the officer to get off of her.
“A school official doesn’t have the right to brutalize a young lady, a 15-year-old. If it was done in your home, you would be prosecuted for criminal domestic violence,” Smith said.
A Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office deputy charged the student with disorderly conduct.
Sheriff’s office officials declined to comment on pending litigation.
The second clip showed the officer trying to handcuff the student with his knee on her back.
In the video, you can hear her say, “I can’t breathe,” and eventually her body goes limp.
“You cannot force someone who hasn’t committed a crime to be subjected to excessive physical force. If you send your child to school, the child doesn’t have to comply if the child has not committed a crime,” Smith said.
Spartanburg County District Three responded with a statement:
There was an incident at Broome High School that is currently under investigation by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Because the student who was involved is a juvenile, we’re unable to go into too many details about the situation.
However, Broome High School’s administration and staff were present for the situation and the principal applied appropriate discipline for refusal to obey an administrator and staff, as well as using extreme profanity, threats and attempting to assault the officer. As far as a potential lawsuit goes, we have not been informed of any lawsuit against the SRO in question and cannot comment on pending litigation if there is one.
“When you send your child to school, there’s an expectation that your child won’t be physically abused on that campus and embarrassed in front of all the other students who are on campus,” Smith said.
Spartanburg School District Three confirmed that the officer connected to this incident has still been working at the school.
The district said they have not been informed about any lawsuit against the officer in question and cannot comment on pending litigation if there is one.