Hundreds of students at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, staged a walkout on Friday in support of school resource officer Ben Fields, the deputy who was fired after being caught on video flipping a student out of her desk.
Principal Jeff Temoney confronted students after they convened in the school’s atrium and told them their voices were heard no one would be “suspended,” but they needed to return to class.
“We've heard your voices, OK? We appreciate you taking time to do this, but again, as you know, we always focus on teaching and learning, so let's head on back to class,” he said.
Some students were reportedly wearing T-shirts with “#BringBackFields” printed on them, others were heard shouting “Free Fields.”
A student-recorded video of Fields aggressively arresting a female student quickly went viral, with many people claiming the officer used excessive force.
Fields, in a statement through his attorney, maintained that he took “justified and lawful” action during the incident.