Applying Developing Sociological Knowledge And Skills To The Analysis Of A Current Event


The race has taken center stage in the case of a girl who was thrown down by a police officer and then arrested later. The girl in question was an African-American. The white sheriff thrust the girl to the floor, and such actions elicited many reactions from the black community according to the news article (Seabrooks, 2015). Studies have shown that black students are more likely to be disciplined when compared to their white counterparts even for the same offences. Black parents after many similar occurrences had formed an association to help deal with the inequalities and injustices directed towards their children. The district board chair held the view that the use of the force by the police officer on the student was excessive.

The girl’s mistake was that she had used a phone in the classroom and had refused to leave the class, which prompted the teacher to call for help. The deputy came in, lifted her out of her desk and continued further to slam her to the ground. The deputy dragged the girl in the process and cuffed her at the front of the classroom. Sheriff Lott Leon further showed the evidence of the police officer punching the girl. The sheriff wanted to know if the deputy had followed departmental rules and did not speak about the girl’s treatment with the gravity it had on the student and the classmates. The sheriff gave deputy fields unpaid and required that he be investigated further for the supposedly misconduct at the school. The federal bureau of investigation and the attorney for South Carolina have been involved in the case and will conduct further investigation into the officer’s conduct. There are more blacks in the districts than whites in Richland. On the district board there four whites and three blacks. The district has been at the forefront in fostering diversity while the current has brought to the fore the issue of racism against black students. Praised was heaped on the deputy by the students due to his professional conduct at eth school. Students praised his treatment of the students as being nice to all of them. They could just not understand how he could do that to a student especially a woman. The deputy further arrested another girl who had objected to his treatment of the girl in question.

Analysis of event

The incident is quite unnerving one, especially for a girl. The police officer applied the force that even affected the other students to the extent that they stood up but were commanded to sit down by the deputy. Such an act has perpetrated a lot of reaction from the public especially blacks who are of the view that it is a case of racism and discrimination that has been in play for a long period in public schools (Crichlow, 2013). The issue has drawn many criticisms from the media and even human rights groups who are of the view that the officer dealt unfairly in the way that he treated the girl.

The sociological concepts to be used are deviant behavior, racism, alleviation, power, discrimination, prejudice, and inequality. Prejudice encompasses feelings, expectations and beliefs, which are negative and are usually directed towards people belonging to a certain ethnic group. Deviant behavior involves actions were done that do not conform to the required norms or values held by a certain group. Power is evidenced where one achieves desired goals even though there is opposition. The means of achieving the power may not be right but still one may exercise such power especially if he has the majority or the financial resources and influence.

Racism involves involved untoward acts, and discriminative practices labelled towards people of a particular race. The acts tend to humiliate or degrade the people and cause them to feel powerless or inferior to the perpetrating race. Alienation entails feelings of social isolation, meaninglessness and powerlessness that are linked to social relations of a certain group. Inequality encompasses the unbalanced treatment of people or allocation of resources and positions according to gender, race or group. The police handling the girl with excess and unwarranted force show inequality in this case (Troyna,2012). The girl is not of the same strength as the officer and, therefore, was not be handled carelessly by the officer. Alienation is shown by the powerless and meaninglessness of the girl in the situation where the deputy treats her unfairly in using excessive force especially against a girl who has not had a rebellious past at the school. She was rendered powerless by the officer and could do nothing as she was drugged in the full view of the other students, the administrator and teacher who did not comment or intervene on her behalf. The girl accounts for all the others students who have been discriminated against because of their color (McCarthy, 2013). Most of the black students have been severely dealt with when compared to their white counterparts who get little or no punishment at all when found engaging in such acts. The use of the phone in class was not such an offence as to warrant cuffing and arrest. The girl was only to be suspended or given punishment according to her behavior, but the officer went further to humiliate her before her fellow students.

Racism is evidenced in how the girl was treated by the officer. Many incidents in public schools in America show unequal treatment especially on students both white and black who have done similar offenses. The blacks usually get unfair treatment as compared to the whites that bring in the issue of racism. Moreover, we see the misuse of power by the law enforce, in this case, deputy fields. The police manning schools are charged with ensuring that there is order among students and to step in when the situation get completely out of hand.  The deputy would have talked to the girl to persuade her into coming out of the class and did not have to use excessive force to prove that he was an officer.

Prejudice is clearly shown in an incident as the deputy uses excessive force as told by the chair of the district board. Other cases involving white students have been strictly acted upon when compared with the girl’s incident (Delgado & Stefancic, 2012). The deputy, therefore, errored in his judgment in that he excessively used force on a little girl. If the officer handled an adult in the way he had handled the girl, it would have been understandable especially if it was a man who was the resisting arrest.  He mishandled her to the extent of dragging her on the ground.  Furthermore, the girl shows deviant behavior when she uses the phone in class, which is against the rules of the school. Therefore, she was supposed to obey the teachers and get out but she stood her ground and ultimately the teacher had to call for help, which further led to the deputy intervening. It is, therefore, important that enforcement is done in a balanced way to prevent social injustices among other vices that may be done to students or targeted people at large.

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