This week, newscasters decided to do a “Day in the life” of Officer Tommy Stoffel, a School Resource Officer at Lincoln High School. This included film that was going to be later published to local news outlets. The reason being students protesting to Portland Public Schools to get rid of SROs at schools.
Officer Stoffel is a fully trained police officer, and even carries a taser, handgun and handcuffs to work at Lincoln. Although he is trained in serious situation, many of the stuff he handles on a daily basis is smaller things with a single student.
Many students see Officer Stoffel as a friendly face in the halls, since he frequently teaches in a variety of classes, including College and Career Exploration and even Spanish classes. During passing time, Stoffel greets many students by first name, or just to exchange a simple smile.
As Stoffel was greeting students, the camera was focused on the officer. What happened next surprised everyone. In the background of the frame, two students began to fight; punches, kicks, one student ended up on the floor. Stoffel immediately began to intervene.
“Stop! Stop that right now,” Stoffel said. Soon enough, another student got in the middle of the fight and ended it. It was over as soon as it began.
“That is the first fight I’ve seen at Lincoln,” Stoffel said.
Although, teacher Henry Hopper stated that “Three fights have occurred at Lincoln within the last week.”
Stoffel never engaged in any physical contact in the fight because SROs are “trained to begin by using vocal defence,” Stoffel said. If things got worse, he would’ve intervened.
The video of the fight was quickly published on KOIN6 News and was later shown live. The video went viral around the school with many students not surprised about the content shown. Although, Principal Peyton Chapman felt responsible to send an email to parents.
Lincoln is in the middle of campaigning for a multi-million dollar bond to rebuild the school, and negative publicity is only lessening the chances of that bond being passed.