Are school security officers using too much force?

Posted at 12:19 AM, Sep 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-27 08:25:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Fights between students in high schools across the country are common, so much so, that bystanders are frequently posting them on social media.

However, at Richmond’s Huguenot High, school leaders aren't investigating a fight between two students. Instead, they’re looking into an altercation involving a student and a school security officer.

Earlier this week CBS 6 told you about Kevon Patiler, who admitted he shoved a Huguenot High security officer who tried to search him, but, he said the officer took things too far.

“We stood eye to eye for a minute and then I looked away and he just punched me in the mouth,” Patiler said.

While Richmond school leaders say they're investigating that particular incident, this isn't the first time we've heard complaints from parents and students about what they call, excessive force being used by school security officers.

We went to speak with the school system's security safety trainer to find out if they have a standard policy when it comes to handling students. Richmond Schools safety trainer Carrie Lindenfeld said yes.

She told CBS 6 reporter Lorenzo Hall, first, they give an order. If students don't respond, Lindenfeld said by law, they can grab and restrain a student and but goes on to say, they're not trained to inflict any pain.

“Unfortunately, when we hear those that say, don't touch my child, you can't touch my child, if we need to touch your child then that's what we have to do,” Lindenfeld said.

She does admit, they have to be a bit more aggressive now, especially following the recent school tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary.