When we send our kids to school we hope it will be a safe place for them to learn and grow. Today parents have a thousand reasons to worry about their kids at school. Between bullying, peer pressure, bad influences and not to mention low test scores, parents can write a list a mile long of all their school related worries. One thing parents don’t often worry about is their child being assaulted by the school’s resource officer. Sadly, parents might have to start adding this to their worry list, because news reports have discovered that an Oklahoma school resource officer assaulted a student.
Earlier this month a 16-year-old student was walking down the halls of US Grant High School. The school resource officer, MSgt. Thomas Jaha, saw the student and instructed him to return to class because he did not have permission to be roaming the halls.
According to reports and surveillance videos, the student yelled, “F**k you” at officer Jaha and then took an aggressive stance. Jaha then proceeded to strike the student in the head twice.
Jaha claims he reacted in self-defense, but police Captain Paco Balderrama disagrees.
“They have the right to defend themselves. They have the right to use physical force to protect themselves, protect the public,” said Balderrama. “And in this particular case, the force was not appropriate to the incident.”
The student was arrested for disorderly conduct and officer Jaha has been charged with one count of assault and battery.
This comes on the heels of a South Carolina officer being criticized for throwing a 15-year-old student across the classroom because she refused to leave class.
While police officers certainly do not have an easy job and we should all treat them with respect, this kind of behavior is not only inexcusable, but also illegal. Police do not get a free pass and they are subject to the law just like every other citizen.