A Houston, Texas, teen has decided to leave her current high school after school police responded aggressively to her defiant use of a cell phone.
Campus police were summoned to the Sam Houston High School on Tuesday to deal with 10th grade student Ixel Perez.
When the 70-pound student refused to relinquish her phone, three officers reportedly wrestled her to the floor, as another officer pinned her head to the ground with his knee.
Footage of part of the altercation, first obtained by KHOU.com, was captured by another student on a cell phone, and shows police manhandling Perez on a hallway floor as she screams.
The teen was ordered out to the hallway where the school’s assistant principal tried to confiscate her personal property.
“I just didn’t want to give up my phone,” Perez explained to KHOU, adding that she had been on the phone with her ill mother, trying to get a status update on her condition.
“She asked me for the phone and I didn’t want to give it to her, because I was scared. I ended up walking down the stairs trying to get away from the AP (assistant principal) and then she had already called the cops,” described Perez.
Cops arrived intent on forcing Perez to surrender her
The student who filmed the incident described what he saw to the local news outlet.
“Both of the cops just tackled her down to the floor. They put her knee on her head and after that they just arrested her, took her phone,” Perez’s peer Gustavo Lucio told KHOU. “The cop just said you can’t use your phone and after that, no words no nothing, just actions, grabbed her, threw her down.”
“He grabbed my hand,” Perez said, “one of them was right here, one grabbed my hand, I didn’t want to let go of my phone because I was on the phone with mom.”
Perez’s brother was floored by the police response, and couldn’t figure out why it took three cops to detain his little sister.
“We all know it was wrong,” he stated. “It doesn’t take three cops to take down one teenage girl, especially a 70-pound teenage girl!”
Friends and family of Perez held a demonstration in front of the school yesterday demanding officials conduct an investigation into the officers’ use of force.
Despite footage obviously showing a combative police response, HISD released a statement claiming student safety was their “absolute top priority,” and that they’ll investigate what led the cops to respond in that manner.
“The safety of our students at Sam Houston High School and of all our schools is always our absolute top priority. The HISD police department and the school’s administration are continuing their investigations of what led to the detainment of a female student yesterday. “
The cops’ over-the-top reaction is indicative of the overzealous enforcement of arbitrary zero tolerance school policies, which do more to indoctrinate students into becoming obedient, unquestioning members of society who will bend to the will of authorities at a moment’s notice.
Most recently we’ve seen schools attempt to police students’ thoughts, as was the case last month when a South Carolina teen was suspended and arrested after imagining a story in which he used a gun to shoot a dinosaur.
“A 65 million year gap between the story and reality didn’t seem to matter to teachers who immediately suspended [Alex] Stone for a week, searched his bookbag and locker – finding nothing – and then inexplicably called the police,” Steve Watson wrote.
Indeed, the Houston ISD police officers’ overreaction is something that would not seem out of place in authoritarian regimes such as North Korea.
“As problematic as all of these programs are, however, what’s really unnerving are the similarities between the American system of public education and that of totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany, with their overt campaigns of educational indoctrination,” writes Rutherford Institute president John W. Whitehead on “The Death of Freedom in Our Schools.” “And while those who run America’s schools may not be deliberately attempting to raise up a generation of Hitler Youth, they are teaching young people to march in lockstep with the all-powerful government—which may be just as dangerous in the end.”