School Climate & Safety

San Antonio District Fires School Officer Who Body Slammed Student in Video

By Evie Blad — April 11, 2016 1 min read
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The San Antonio Independent School District has fired Joshua Kehm, a school resource officer seen body-slamming a 12-year-old girl face first on the ground in a video that spread online last week, the district said Monday.

“As educators, it is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of our students,” Superintendent Pedro Martinez said in a statement. “We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response; however, in this situation we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted. Additionally, the officer’s report was inconsistent with the video and it was also delayed, which is not in accordance with the general operating procedures of the police department. We want to be clear that we will not tolerate this behavior.”

In the video, fellow students repeatedly ask the girl if she is ok after she is slammed to the ground, making a noise as she makes contact. Various media have reported that the officer was responding to reports of a fight, but the district has not provided details of what led to the incident.

The district referred an investigation of the officer’s actions to a “third-party law enforcement agency,” it said, without specifying the agency. An administrative investigation continues on what led to the confrontation to determine “any other necessary actions in response to the incident,” the district said in a statement.

The incident “does not define our district police department,” Martinez said.

Videos of student interactions with school police have made headlines around the country recently. Some of those officers were employed by district-run departments, and some were officers provided in cooperative agreements with local enforcement agencies.

Are you a student who has recorded an incident with a school-based officer? I’d like to hear from you at eblad@epe.org.


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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.