Field's violent takedown of a female student was captured on video

By Michelle Boudin
Updated October 30, 2015 05:15 PM
Credit: Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff's Department/AP

Approximately 100 students at a Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, walked out of class this morning to protest Wednesday’s firing of Deputy Ben Fields, the school resource officer whose violent takedown of a female student was captured on video.

Some students who partook in the organized protest wore shirts that read, “Bring Back Fields.”

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott fired Fields after he says an internal investigation determined Fields violated department policy. He told reporters, “He picked the student up and threw the student across the room.”

Yet some students at Spring Valley High tell PEOPLE they support Fields.

A seventeen year old senior says, “Deputy Fields is a really nice guy. Most of us want him to come back to the school. We think what he did was okay and that he was doing his job.”

In an email to parents, the school s principal, Jeff Temoney wrote, “Around 10 a.m. about 100 students gathered in our atrium to express their opinions about the events of this week. I addressed the students to let them know that we understood their need to make their voices heard. Then I reminded them that Spring Valley High is all about the business of teaching and learning, so it’s time to go back to class.”

The students were back in class in ten minutes.