Residents of Richland county caught a break Tuesday night.
Richland School District Two didn’t cancel its regularly scheduled meeting after finding itself in the nation’s hotseat for an incident earlier in the week involving a school security officer and a belligerent teen. Parents were allowed to sound off.
The video of a Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy taking down a student at a Spring Valley High School has been causing controversy across the nation, and citizens were given a chance to let their opinions be heard at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Almost every other item on the agenda was tabled as board members gave the general public an opportunity to sound off, with some residents criticizing Deputy Ben Fields, and others laying responsibility on the student who had refused Fields’ orders.
“This is not a race issue. This is an ‘I want to be defiant and not do what I’m told,’” said Rebekah Woodford when it was her turn to speak.
“What happened in this situation we had was very excessive. Let’s put it that way…but I want everybody to understand this is how I feel that there is accountablility on both parts,” resident Danieka Bryan told News 19.
Other citizens who were given a chance to speak were less understanding of Fields.
“See you guys are responsible for these people. You need to fire this guy,” parent Craig Conwell said.
After the public was allowed to say their peace, the board took up debating the issue before moving on with other business.