KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Yesterday, a video surfaced on social media that showed an Osceola County Sheriff’s deputy slamming a Black female student at Liberty High School to a sidewalk headfirst, causing her body to go limp. Even as she lay unconscious, the officer continued to treat her as a threat and, instead of seeking medical help, handcuffed her.
The following statement is from Bacardi Jackson, managing attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Florida office:
“Tragically, another young Black girl has been brutally assaulted by a local police officer in a school environment where children are supposed to be safe.
“We see this violence far too often against Black, Indigenous and people of color communities. It cannot be allowed to happen in our schools. Not now. Not ever.
“The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office must be held accountable for the actions of this officer and the officer who stood by, watched and did nothing. We demand a full investigation and corrective steps be taken to ensure this does not happen again to our children. The local school district must also examine its own policies and practices governing how and when they engage local law enforcement in school matters, which contributed to this tragedy.
“Police officers should never be used for routine school discipline. We must stop spending precious public funds on surveilling and policing schoolchildren, and instead invest in our public schools so that teachers and administrators are equipped with the resources they need to help students manage conflicts and crises.”