My first experience with Spring Valley High School was a scary one. I was a scrawny seventh grader who had barely made it onto the varsity track team (which was basically a come one come all type situation) and we were headed to Columbia to compete against Spring Valley's track team. Although I went to a suburban high school, our co-ed bus full of seventh graders to high school seniors was pretty rowdy and spirited. Until the bus slowed and we all saw the sprawling campus with what looked like hundreds of track athletes in impeccable track suits, stretching with the uniformity of a Marine Corps. The bus grew quiet - almost respectful - and as we took our beating that year, Spring Valley became imprinted on my mind as the gold standard to work towards. By my senior year, our women's track team had eked out one win against Spring Valley through some kind of Remember the Titans like underdog strength, but I will never forget the fear they inspired at our first encounter.
Fast forward to Oct 26, 2015 and it seems Spring Valley High is still inspiring several emotions in folks, one of which is certainly fear. The video of a student's altercation with a Safety Resource Officer at Spring Valley High emerged and in a cycle that is becoming all too common when a white police officer has a physical altercation with a person of color, the debates ensue. I think most reasonable folks across the Don Lemon to Rev. Sharpton continuum can agree that the force used is difficult to watch, justifiable or not.