This Video Of Texas Officer Joshua Kehm Slamming A Student To The Ground Is Disturbing — VIDEO
A video of a middle schooler in San Antonio, Texas, being thrown to the ground by an uniformed school officer went viral after it was posted on YouTube on April 5. The video showing San Antonio Independent School District Officer Joshua Kehm throwing Janissa Valdez to the ground is an apparent example of a student being treated violently by a school official, even though officers are put into schools to protect students.
Valdez is 12 years old and is a sixth-grader at Rhodes Middle School in San Antonio. The middle school student told CNN that when she approached another middle schooler on March 31, Officer Kehm reportedly thought that Valdez was going to fight the other student. However, Valdez claimed on CNN that she was going up to the student to ask if they could go somewhere to talk about their issue. In the video, released on the blog "Ghost-0" — the site describes itself as being "San Antonio's Alternative Investigative Journalist" — the school police officer is holding Valdez around the waist. He then raises Valdez into the air before slamming her onto the ground — there is an audible sound when Valdez hits the brick floor. She lands face down.
Valdez lay motionless on the ground, but as Valdez's mother, Gloria Valdez, said on CNN, Kehm still handcuffed Valdez before picking her up off the ground. The students around Valdez express concern for her in the video — they can be heard asking, "Janissa! Janissa, you OK?"
Officer Kehm allegedly acted the way he did in order to stop an anticipated fight, however, it's impossible not to question why violence was used to deter possible violence. Valdez's mother reportedly asked the officer why he treated her daughter in such a way, but she told CNN his response was only that "he did what he had to do at the moment."
San Antonio Independent School District administrators told CNN that the district does not condone violence, and they have suspended Kehm and launched an investigation into the incident — as have the police. He could possibly face jail time if he is prosecuted for his actions.
In her CNN interview, Valdez described the officer's actions as "wrong," adding, "cause I wasn't going to do anything." However, even if a student was going to start a fight with another student, there has to be a better tactic than using violence to stop violence.