A video circulating online shows a school resource officer forcefully bringing a student to the ground at a North Texas high school, prompting outrage from the girl’s mother and an investigation by local authorities.
The incident happened last week at North Garland High School, allegedly amidst a chaotic brawl that erupted at the school.
The Garland Police Department (GPD) posted a statement to Twitter not long after the video became public.
“The Garland Police Department is aware of a recent video that was posted online involving a Garland Police [school resource officer] and a student at North Garland High School. The video captures the end of an incident that involved multiple large school fights and assaults that were occurring simultaneously in the school hallway.”
“GISD sent home 10 students involved in the fight, and the school is investigating additional students who may have been involved. The Garland Police Department is opening an internal investigation to ensure officers acted appropriately.”
In response to the incident, Lt. Richard Maldonado, a spokesperson for GPD, confirmed that school surveillance footage and body camera recordings were being examined to provide a more comprehensive picture of the events.
“Listen, this was a very charged, involved situation,” Maldonado told NBC 5 DFW. “We had students fighting, teachers, and administrators trying to break people up, police officers trying to effect arrests, remove people. It was pretty chaotic.”
Heaven Kirk, the 15-year-old student pulled to the ground by the officer, says she was telling one of the officers breaking up the fight to get off of her friend.
“He comes at me, and he took me to the ground with his hand on my hair and throat. And I’m tussling with him because I don’t know what’s going on,” Kirk said, speaking with NBC 5.
LaQuisha Kirk, Heaven’s mother, told the news outlet that watching the video made her feel sick and argued that the amount of force used on her daughter was excessive. She further claimed that she is considering not reenrolling her daughter at the school.
A previous incident in Dallas ISD also prompted media attention after a coach at Justin F. Kimball High School punched a student in the face, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. DISD, the biggest district in North Texas, has garnered a reputation for mismanagement and continues to struggle academically.