GOV: Current Events


Teacher Thoughts:

The main article involves a student of color seemingly being abused by a police officer in a school. This makes me think about some of the more mainstream issues being pushed by the media – police abuse, racial issues, and violence in education.
What is important to consider is the inherent bias of this event but even if it is one sided it still reflects an OVERALL issue and most importantly, there are still large portions of the population that will take this event “as-is” and become emotionally affected and invested into the argument now. This is the absolute reality for many viewers.
The video also makes my initial reaction very one sided and clearly shows a young girl, and to me, gender here does make a difference, being thrown down in a desk and while on the ground thrown across the floor into a door.
This raises the question of “What really happened” and even if something did, “Is there ever a reason for an officer of the law to do this to a person, let alone a student in a school building?” – “What is the role of an officer, and/or an officer in a school system?”
Things to research:
1) Ben Fields apparently is a good and bad officer – find out more about him.
2) Why are there cops in the school to begin with? Or any other school? –
3) How many schools have cops in them and why? – I need to see the BIG picture, not just focus on this isolated incident
4) Fields was accused of excessive force before, why? (What is excessive force anyways?)
5) CONSTITUTIONALITY: Bill of Rights – Cruel and Unusual Punishment – does it apply to this situation? Freedom of Speech violation for the girl? Popular Sovereignty! Do we agree to be governed by this?
6) ECONOMICS: The officer is obviously being paid by the state and/or school which ultimately comes from the tax-payer dollar. What is the cost?
7) POLITICS: What politicians and/or parties are supporting this? Is it being used by Obama or any candidates for 2016 office?
8) MORALS: In my opinion… (ONCE I HAVE RESEARCHED MY QUESTIONS) (Cops, generational, “professionals”)
10) RELATED TO FINEMAN: Limits of Individuality – As taxpayers the voice of the people to elect several positions within law enforcement is there but at times it is not. Depending on the state’s process communities may vote for leadership such as a Sheriff so how much say does one have? Should areas of higher minority populations be able to have law enforcement with greater diversity or does this affect EOE and Affirmative Action? Is it almost a one way street?

GOOGLED – “Carlos Edward Martin Ben Fields” and found document on that has the documents from the Civil Court Case.
It would appear from the document that Fields and his colleagues were abusing their positions and what also alarmed me is the confiscation of the woman’s cell phone. I think this refers to “search and seizure” and “papers and effects” – there was no need to take it and if there actually is a law that says police can do so in this instance it needs to be changed because it violates the Bill of Rights in my opinion.
GOOGLED: “Cops in Schools” and found Website says “For example, the COPS in Schools grant program of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (the COPS Office) provided funding for SROs in and around primary and secondary schools. Since1999, the COPS Office has awarded over $750 million to more than 3,000 grantees, resulting in the hiring of more than 6,500 SROs (Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2008)”
17,000 officers throughout 33% of US schools in 2009
GOOGLED: “politics cops in school support” and found (LEFT leaning magazine but is generally factual)
“The Obama administration wants stiffer gun control, and $150 million to help schools hire up to 1,000 more on-campus police or counselors, or purchase security technology. State legislators are considering shifting millions of dollars around to help schools hire more police. Some locals aren’t waiting: The 5,500-resident town of Jordan, Minnesota, has moved its entire eight-officer police force into schools.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre”

Agree or Disagree = Cops should be in Argyle Central? Cops should be in schools at all?
T-Chart = Pros and Cons of cops in schools

1-Should all students, based on their behavior, have access to a free public education? – is it really a RIGHT?
2-Is this type of “discipline” acceptable in schools – what if it was a boy, white, black, other?
3-How might this event impact the racial divide in America?
4-Would it make a difference if the officer was not white?
5-What is the solution to the problem of A) School Discipline and Student Accountability and B) Police Officers “contributing” to racial issues in America
*There has been follow up – several “new” videos claim to show that the girl tipped her own chair over – does it even matter if she did? At what point did it become “too much”
**Officer Fields has been fired from his department
6*-This makes me think about my own limitations as a teacher – what can we do if there is violence or really, truly, “tough” students?

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