Real Time host Bill Maher was at odds with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Friday after blaming the violent police encounter at Spring Valley High in South Carolina on a collision between “overzealous policing and underzealous parenting.”
“I think this is just horrendous to treat a child like this, a teenager,” Maher said of Officer Ben Fields’ attack on an unidentified black student. “But I also have sympathy for people in authority because I think parents just let kids do anything nowadays, so they never listen to authority.”
Waters chided Maher, saying that he was assuming that all of the children about whom he was complaining even had parents.
“Some of them come from very difficult situations. I’ve had this experience working with some of these kids. I’m not excusing them,” she said. “But I want to tell you, this cop could have broken her back, he could have broken her neck, she could be dead today. So he overreacted, ‘Mister Slam,’ whatever they called him, had no right to pick up that young lady and the chair and throw them across the room.”
“We’re not defending him,” Maher insisted.
Fields, or “Officer Slam,” as he was reportedly called by students, was fired for his actions. The girl’s attorney has stated that she suffered several injuries after he flipped her over in her chair and threw her across the floor of her classroom.
Maher then said that the alliance that existed between parents and teachers during his youth had eroded.
“That’s why they can’t teach,” he argued. “The little brats go home and complain, and then the parents complain to the teachers. they’re not on the side of the teachers.”
“Some of that may be true,” Waters countered. “But the fact of the matter is, there are different ways to handle these situations. You can dismiss the whole class, you can leave, you can get with the principal and you can talk about what’s the best way to do this. You can pick up the phone, you can call the parents. But for the police to come into the school and pick up the kid, that’s too much.”
“That’s the part we agree on,” Maher said again.
Watch the discussion, as posted online, below.