Some call for the removal of school resource officers in wake of body-slamming incident
OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - The Osceola School Board met Tuesday to discuss removing school resource officers from campuses after video went viral of an officer slamming a Liberty High School student to the ground and cuffing her last week.
"We need books, not bullets!"
Outside the Osceola School Board administration building, there was a plea for the removal of school resource officers.
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Student Jenny Sanchez said, "I would like for them to get police officers out of schools."
Inside the board meeting, more speakers with the same sentiment.
Student Imani Waters said, "I am here to tell you and we are afraid. We are afraid of a force that is supposed to protect us."
Pastor Matthew Quaninoo, of Solid Rock Community Church, said, "We need to call for the immediate removal of police from our schools."
But, school board member Jon Arguello says not everyone wants to remove school resource officers (SRO's).
"I think across the community, the majority of people and the majority of families and parents, they actually want deputies on campus to protect their students," Arguello said.
He says it’s about training.
"It’s situations like this, where we need to figure out what the appropriate measure of behavior and interaction is for the deputies," Arguello said.
A School Resource Officer (SRO) Policy Committee has been selected to help create a guide for SROs to follow.
Arguello says it’s important to treat everyone with respect, including student Taylor Bracey and Osceola County Deputy Ethan Fournier, who’s on paid leave during the investigation.
"The administration spent 15 minutes telling me what a good person he was and why the students love him," Arguello said.
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But after seeing a video of Fournier slamming Bracey to the ground, many want action now.
Pastor Quainoo said, "That was immoral, it was unjust, it was unethical."
Waters said, "There needs to be more than a slap on the wrist and paid leave. There needs to be consequences. This young girl from Liberty has a concussion."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues to investigate the incident.
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