Parents want answers about incident

Parents want answers about incident
November 12
00:00 2015

In above photo: A North Forsyth High School student, who wore this hoodie, had to be treated at a hospital after being handled by a school resource officer. (Photo by Tevin Stinson)

Family visibly shaken after seeing video of daughter

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

After seeing video footage of their daughter being handled by a school resource officer, Sharon and Jeffery Rogers were visibly shaken. They want answers.

It has been over a week since Officer Randall White handled 11th-grader Asahiah Rogers while trying to break up a fight at North Forsyth High School.

Yet, school administrators at North Forsyth have yet to return any of the family’s calls.

According to Sharon Rogers, administrators have not handled the situation in a professional manner. The school failed to initially tell Sharon Rogers that an officer with the Winston-Salem Police Department had appeared to have caused the injuries that needed immediate medical attention.

“I never even got a call from the school when this first happened,” she said. “All those people there, someone should have called.”

According to reports, White saw an argument between Asahiah and another student escalate into a fight. When he tried to break up the fight and take her into custody, Asahiah sustained a head injury.

Sharon Rogers said school administrators gave her the runaround as she made multiple attempts to see the video on the school’s cameras.

“They continued to give me excuses why they couldn’t let me see the video,” she said. “Cameras are everywhere in that school, I know they have it and have seen it, but they would not let me see it, which doesn’t make any sense to me.

“I am glad that someone was willing to step up an share the video.”

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Chief of Staff Theo Helm said the school system was not at liberty to discuss the situation.

“The matter is now being handled by the police department,” he said. “ As a result, I really can’t say much about the situation, only that a student was injured.”

It is unclear what action has been taken against White. According to multiple sources, White is a fairly new officer with the Winston-Salem Police Department.

According to Captain Catrina Thompson of the Police Department’s criminal investigation division, White is still working at North Forsyth.

“Officer Randall White is still working in full capacity at North Forsyth High School,” Thompson continued. “The incident is currently under internal investigation.”

Thompson did say criminal charges are pending against the two students involved.

According to court documents, Asahiah and the other student involved in the fight are to appear in court on Dec. 9. Both students were charged with affray and disturbance of other citizens in a public place.

In a video obtained by an unknown source, White seems to initially control the situation by putting Rogers against a wall. Then it appears he then proceeds to slam the teenager to the ground.

Although it was on Snapchat, that video has since been removed from all social media platforms.

After the incident, Asahiah said she asked White for a simple apology, which she never got.

“I was in his office after the incident and he continued to walk in and out while others tried to stop the bleeding,” she continued. “When I asked him for a apology, he said he had already given me the ticket and he felt he had done the right thing.”

When Sharon Rogers finally spoke with White’s supervisor, hours later, she was told that justice had been served, and that the police officer did his job.

“I asked him a few times to get a better understanding of what that meant, but it was easy to figure out,” she continued. “They believe he was justified in his actions.”

After seeing the video multiple times, it is clear that the officer could have taken other actions to control the situation, said Asahiah’s father, Jeffery Rogers.

After seeing the video for the first time, he was visibly shaken up, he tried to hold back tears.

“It hurts my heart to see my daughter handled like that,” he continued. “I forgive the officer for what he has done, but we want, and need justice.

“If we don’t speak out about this situation it could happen to someone else, and we want to prevent this from happening to anyone else.”

As of Tuesday, Nov. 10, school administrators from North Forsyth had not returned calls from the Rogers family or The Chronicle.

Both students have been expelled and told they cannot return to North Forsyth for the remainder of the school year, although original documents from the school stated the students were only to be suspended for five days.

Sharon Rogers said after days of trying to contact school administrators, she has decided that it is a lost cause, because they are not responding.

“I have tried to contact the principal and the school since the day this happened,” she continued. “The next step for us is finding a lawyer who can help us.

“We want to make sure children throughout the school system are safe. This seems to becoming a trend in school across the nation, and its time for it to stop.”

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