Quantcast

Spring Valley students stage walkout in support of Ben Fields - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Spring Valley students stage walkout in support of Ben Fields

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Students at Spring Valley High School staged a brief walkout in support of school resource officer Ben Fields, the Richland County sheriff's deputy caught on camera slamming and dragging a student out of a desk earlier this week. 

WEB EXTRA: Watch the three angles of the incident: Angle 1 | Angle 2 | Angle 3

Hundreds of students walked out of class around 10 a.m. and into the school's atrium before school administrators returned the students to class.

Principal Jeff Temoney told the students none of them would be suspended if they returned to class.

"We've heard your voices, okay," Temoney said. "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." 

Video and photos from the incident captured by students show many of them saying "Free Fields" or wearing T-shirts that say "#BringBackFields." 

Fields was fired by Sheriff Leon Lott earlier this week after video of the incident between him and a female student exploded on social media and sparked a nationwide discussion on school resource officers and use of force. 

Several students said those 15 seconds don’t reflect the Ben Fields they know.

"He was a great guy," student London Harrell said. "He protected us and everything. He was our school resource officer. We always could depend on him and everything. Every time I saw him, he was always joking around with people. It was never like ‘Oh, I’m about to body slam you.'" 

The former deputy also released a statement through his attorney defending his actions.

"We believe that Mr. Fields' actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident," the attorney's statement said. 

We've reached out to the district, who called the walkout "small" and "orderly." 

Temoney also released a statement from the school several hours later and said the students and staff were safe during the protest.

"At no time, were any students or staff in any danger. School is carrying on in a safe and productive manner today," the statement said.

Parents have said the protests could continue once school lets out. There is also a football game at Spring Valley in just a few hours.

Copyright 2015 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • NEWS LocalNEWSMore>>

  • 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit in North Charleston Memorial Day Weekend

    9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit in North Charleston Memorial Day Weekend

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:11 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:11:56 GMT
    Source: WCSCSource: WCSC

    On this Memorial Day weekend there's an opportunity to visit the Stephen Siller 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit. 

    More >>

    On this Memorial Day weekend there's an opportunity to visit the Stephen Siller 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit. 

    More >>
  • Caitlyn the dog celebrates her Liberation Day

    Caitlyn the dog celebrates her Liberation Day

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:46 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:46:13 GMT
    Source: Charleston Animal SocietySource: Charleston Animal Society

    Today marks the day two years ago that Caitlyn was discovered battered and abused and brought to Charleston Animal Society.

    More >>

    Today marks the day two years ago that Caitlyn was discovered battered and abused and brought to Charleston Animal Society.

    More >>
  • DUI checkpoints to be placed in North Charleston for Memorial Day weekend

    DUI checkpoints to be placed in North Charleston for Memorial Day weekend

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:33 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:33:39 GMT
    Source: PixabaySource: Pixabay

    Joint Base Charleston is partnering with local law enforcement to keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend.

    More >>

    Joint Base Charleston is partnering with local law enforcement to keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly