The Noise of Silence at Spring Valley High

Video released shows a young Black girl being brutally assaulted and traumatized by a police officer … in school. Sr. Deputy Ben Fields can be seen throwing the young Black student to the ground while she’s still seated. He has been placed on administrative duty, and is barred from working at any schools until the investigation is complete.

The video footage lives in every corner of the innanetz. I will not repost it here.

Demand that Officer Ben Fields gets fired for assaulting an innocent Black girl.

Already the tweets and think pieces are formulating from the minds, hearts, and souls of brilliant Black people who are exasperated, annoyed, frustrated, and disgusted by this latest incident in the long story of institutional racism. The topics are many; from the dastardly marriage of police and schools via the school-to-prison pipeline, to the constant reminder that Black women and girls exist on the bottom rung of society, this latest incident is a bloodcurdling reminder that our children are most vulnerable in a socioeconomic system designed by institutional racism and patriarchy.

But what kills me is the silence of the onlookers. Niya Kenny (18) was arrested and charged with “disturbing schools” after she spoke out against the treatment of her fellow classmate. The name of the survivor of this tragic ordeal has not yet been released to the public.

The rest of the classmates sat still, with some even putting their heads down and avoiding eye contact as the pig officer manhandled the child with 300lbs. of muscle. The teacher who instigated the incident by calling in reinforcements, was also silent.

The silence of these onlookers tells me that the violence Ben Fields exhibited is normal to them. They’re conditioned in their fear and their belief in helplessness. They are not radicalized in a way to prompt an immediate defense of the young girl.

This isn’t to blame the children. Centuries of social engineering and conditioning has led to such inaction. Black people have always avoided racist confrontation for fear and individual preservation. It wouldn’t surprise me if these students were immobile because they were more concerned with their own survival.

But what does rattle me is the process of normalization — the eerie manner in which these students seem all too familiar with Pig Fields’ brutality. They’ve witnessed his violence before, and are numb to it. Which means that the school administrators and police force are solely to blame for allowing this savage creature to prey on innocence kids with full impunity, if not blessing.

But now that this racist ordeal is front and center on the national stage, I hope these children begin to organize and resist the dominant power structure, without fear or doubt.

Strongly Suggested Reading

“Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpriced, and Underprotected”African American Policy Forum

Featured Image Credit:

photo 1Arielle Newton, Founder/Editor-in-Chief. Get at me @arielle_newton. Get at us @BlkMillennials.


9 responses to “The Noise of Silence at Spring Valley High

  1. Pingback: Arrested For Disrupting School: Is your school Spring Valley High? | Form Follows Function·

  2. Everyday, every act of institutionalized oppression causes that which has seethed in the deepest layers of repression to begin to rise like magma. We can all act. We must all act, before we burn ourselves alive from within.


  3. I was also struck by the acquiesence that everyone showed while this went on. If we are so blinded by fear of, or obedience to, authority than I question the right of that authority to exist.


  4. This girl didn’t deserved to be a punching bag! The most intelligent action could be after class receive a disciplinary note about the incident, not being thrown out like a wrestler out of her chair to later put the cuffs on her. I feel disgusted!


  5. Reblogged this on Tired Sista and commented:
    I agree with the sista who said this young lady should have been given an disciplinary note after class; that is how this should have been handled. I don’t care if she was non-compliant; there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for a grown ass man to throwing and dragging a child around like that. NONE!


  6. What scares me were the comments that she deserved it on another news feed because she was being defiant. No one deserves to be treated like that for doing what they believe in. This is supposed to be a free country, no person should live in oppression.


  7. Thank you for this article. My first thought when I saw this video, after the ridiculous attack on the young girl, was how everyone in the room was frozen. I thought “these kids are gonna need lots of therapy” but your article goes further into the even darker area of institutionalized fear. Fact is, police forces were never “nice guys”, they weren’t “there to help”. They have always been an instrument of control and in many cases abuse of the so-called minorities in our country. It’s been since Rodney King that the institutional police culture has been brought into the open. Now it’s time to make real changes. I don’t know how…but we’ve got to do something. Our nation’s very soul is at risk.


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