The South Carolina sheriff’s department whose school-based officer drew headlines when he violently arrested a student last year has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, under which it will set new policies and provide extensive training to deputies who work in 60 schools in three districts.
The agreement, signed by the Richland County sheriff’s office, settles a civil rights review. A separate investigation will determine if the officer violated civil rights laws when he threw a black student from her desk last year and arrested her on charges of “disturbing a school"after she refused to put away her cellphone in class. A video of the arrest, taped by another student, spread online and sparked debates about the role of police in schools.
Meanwhile, the student who recorded that video joined several other plaintiffs in filing a lawsuit calling the state’s “disturbing schools” law overly broad and unconstitutional. The state board of education took initial steps to limit the role of law enforcement in schools.
A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as Agreement Aims to Curb Bias Via School Police Training