The students at Florida’s Liberty High School are calling for the firing of deputy Ethan Fournier, who was filmed body-slamming a female student and knocking her unconscious. Disturbing footage of the incident went viral earlier this week and now students are saying they no longer feel safe at the school.
According to TMZ, several teens have spoken up to demand that Fournier either be fired from the sheriff’s department or be removed permanently from the school. Students told the outlet that they fear for their safety with the officer still there and some parents are considering transferring their children out of the school.
Senior Trey’vion Telfair told the outlet that Fournier participated in the Black Student Union’s police brutality seminar back in September. However, he now thinks it was all just an act. Another student, Daijah Watts, recalled a time where Fournier pepper-sprayed a group of kids who were fighting.
As reported by REVOLT, Fournier was placed on administrative leave after the sheriff’s department saw the video. The case has now been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which will determine whether or not Fournier will face criminal charges.
“Today the sheriff’s office received information from school officials at Liberty High School about a video posted on social media depicting one of our School Resource Officers in a confrontation with a student,” a statement read. “Our office is in the initial stages of our investigation. We are collecting video, witness statements and relevant information related to the incident.”
A student’s mother who witnessed the incident, Demeatra Bodie, said if parents treated their children with the force that Fournier used “we [would] be in jail.”
She added, “We know that they’re there for safety reasons, but they need to be trained on working with kids because kids are going to give you problems. They give us problems as parents, but we’re not going to just beat on our kids and knock them unconscious.”
The unidentified girl who was slammed to the ground was reportedly treated and released at the scene.