Media Contact

Tom Hargis, ACLU of Texas, 713-325-7010, [email protected]

April 7, 2016

HOUSTON – On March 29, San Antonio ISD officer Joshua Kehm ended a verbal confrontation between two Rhodes Middle School students by grabbing 12 year-old Janissa Valdez and body slamming her to the ground. According to reports, Ms. Valdez suffered swelling in her right temple as a result of her head striking the concrete floor.

The following may be attributed to Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas:

“This certainly isn’t the first time a Texas law enforcement officer has resorted to excessive force to handle a school disciplinary issue, and it won’t be the last. While Officer Kehm should be held accountable for his actions, this sort of abuse is far too common to lay the blame solely at the feet of ‘bad apple’ officers. It’s the current culture of policing that allows for a grown officer to slam a twelve-year-old to the floor. Police officers don’t make schools safer, and they should be removed from schools altogether.”

The following may be attributed to Matt Simpson, Senior Policy Strategist for the ACLU of Texas:

“No parent sends their child to school thinking that a grown man will body slam their child to the ground. We call on the San Antonio Independent School District to fully investigate and hold accountable the officer in this video. Along with holding the officer accountable for his actions, SAISD needs to take a look at their policies, practices and culture of policing. SAISD should conduct an immediate review of use of force in SAISD schools.”