Yes, this student Tauris Sledge could have asked to report to the school nurse when he didn’t feel well.
By Ron Lowe
Instead, he sat on the bleachers and stayed to himself, not disrupting anything but the teacher’s desire for control. He later joined in free play basketball. It is beyond the competence of the P.E. teacher to understand issues that could have motivated a teenager to sit out of a kickball game but rather to join in another, perhaps more appealing, sport (basketball) some minutes later.
[The following commentary about the arrest of a student at East Ridge high school is very close to our own, highlighting the penal nature of the so-called public school, with its power players such as coach and SRO (aka, cop on duty at the school) escalating a “situation” leading to an arrest and three criminal charges of an 18-year old enrollee. — DJT]
A mature generosity of spirit would have led an adult in authority to provide the student with the benefit of the doubt, even when the adult felt deceived. Instead, the teacher verbally backed the student into a corner, and the student reacted inappropriately, but understandably when the context of American race relations and use of force are considered.
Underlying issues I notice: The ancient Roman lust for domination or control is clearly on display by the P.E. teacher and the SRO. There were so many opportunities to de-escalate tensions and implement restorative justice. This could have a been a teaching moment, at worst, resulting in no class credit for the student that day. Instead, the adults felt the need to argue and use force in order to achieve control, to have the last word, and to have their assumptions confirmed and acknowledged.
I suspect that they, like many adults in our society, were taught, by their own parents and other authority figures, to yield compliance through the threat or use of force. I still hear people prescribe and practice that strategy all the time. And those children grow up to see force as an effective means of achieving control. And they take the bait. This was ancient Rome. This is America in 2022. (Domestic abuse. Child abuse. Animal cruelty. Violent racial injustice. America’s high rate of violent crime. The widespread need for anger management.)
The city of God provides much better goals and much better means of achieving them.