Return to story
FOR high school students, Fridays are all about football and the weekend, parties and dates, right? Apparently, a group of Brooke Point High students decided a ruckus on their school bus would be a better way to end the week. Not only did their actions signal a profound disrespect for authority, they could have caused a tragedy.
Stafford County sheriff's deputies responded after the bus driver requested aid because out-of-control students were making it impossible for him to operate the bus safely. One would think that the arrival of a uniformed, armed deputy would quiet things down. Not so: Two girls began fighting right in front of Deputy Frank Shannon, and a boy in the back of the bus began yelling obscenities at him.
Then things got worse. After backup arrived, Deputy Shannon tried to arrest the disruptive boy, who shoved him and retreated again to the back of the bus. When the deputy pursued him, another kid grabbed the officer from behind. Only the cool heads of the deputies averted a very bad outcome. They arrested the shover, and charges against the grabber and one of the girls are pending.
Law enforcement officers are trained to stay in control of a situation, to protect themselves and their weapons. Grabbing an officer is a sure way to engage his training in defensive tactics, ranging from hand-to-hand combat to using a baton, a stun gun, or even his pistol. To be blunt, grabbing an officer is a good way to get shot.
Respect for authority is an important ingredient of an orderly and just society. Without it, a culture descends into chaos and thuggery. Friday's incident shows that Brooke Point parents and teachers have some remedial work to do. Respect 101 should be a mandatory subject, for the good of everyone.