A White school cop was captured on video hitting a Black female student in the leg and pulling her hair while trying to break up a fight at Hazleton Area High School in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
In the Facebook video posted on Monday, one student screamed “let me go,” as she is dragged away by officers. The other girl is repeatedly hit in the leg by a White guard before being pushed into a cafeteria table and pulled by her hair. Both students involved in the violent act were 15-year-olds.
According to WBRE, four students were expelled because of the incident. Officers reportedly intervened when the violence escalated.
Despite arguments that the officers in the video used excessive force, School District Police Chief Ed Harry said, the “officers had to get that under control immediately. “
Superintendent Brian Uplinger also addressed the incident with the news outlet.
“There are always two sides to every story,” Uplinger said. “It’s really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media.”
According to Buzzfeed News, the superintendent said the officers responded within the rules of their training.
“The security officers and school police officers were within the scope of their training to detain these individuals,” he said. “Had they not, there would have been additional injuries to other students within the cafeteria.”
Several commenters linked the use of force to studies that say Black children are criminalized and viewed as threats more than their White counterparts.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.