What Niya Kenny Saw in a South Carolina Classroom

The girl who was dragged out of her chair by a police officer at Spring Valley High School lacked the adult protection she deserves. (photo: New Yorker)

hen a deputy sheriff named Ben Fields walked into Niya Kenny’s math class at Spring Valley High School, in Richland County, South Carolina, she took out her phone and got ready to film him. One of her classmates was in trouble for not paying attention to the lesson and for taking out her own phone; she allegedly refused to leave when a teacher, and then an administrator, told her to. So they called for a school resource officer, as the in-house law enforcement is known. “We have two—I didn’t know which one was coming,” Kenny told the local newspaper The State. When she saw it was Fields, she said, she turned to some of her classmates. “I told them to get the cameras out, because we know his reputation—well, I know his reputation.”

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