Bibb Schools campus police uses ‘buddy system’ to remove students from classrooms
Video shows Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields confronting a student in a classroom and asking her to get up. When she doesn’t, Deputy Fields tries to take her out of the classroom. The Bibb schools campus police chief said his officers are trained to handle that kind of situation differently.
Deputy Fields, a school resource officer, is under investigation after aggressively removed a student in the middle of her class. Videos show Deputy Fields asking a student, who was allegedly disrupting class, to come with him. When she refused, Deputy Fields grabbed the student, flipping the desk in the process.
“Incidents that are primarily disciplinary, we try to leave to the support of the school administrators,” explained Bibb Schools Campus Police Chief Russell Bentley.
Chief Bentley said once an administrator notifies officers, the situation becomes a criminal matter.
“We want the student to comply with the officer’s directives based on the fact that he or she is giving them lawful directives,” said Chief Bentley.
If a student doesn’t follow directions or becomes aggressive, the Bibb campus police officers use a buddy system to take the student out of the classroom.
“Through using what’s commonly known as verbal judo to talk with that student and to urge them to be compliant without having to move to another level of physical contact,” explained Chief Bentley.
Chief Bentley said officers try to keep physical contact at the lowest level.
“Maybe a soft hand urging that student to move in the direction we need that student to move,” explained Chief Bentley.
Reinforcing training is Chief Bentley’s way of making sure students and officers work together in a classroom setting.
“I want to make sure that we continue to give our staff the appropriate training and direction that we won’t be in a situation where we have to move in that direction,” said Chief Bentley.
The Richland County Sheriff asked the FBI to help with the investigation.