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Officer Caught in Alleged Homophobic, Vulgar Rant Toward Student

Smyrna High School and SRO Matt King

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee is investigating one of its resource officers for his alleged language when confronting a student at a local school.

A Tennessee sheriff's department is investigating an incident involving one of its school resource officers who was caught on tape berating a student with misogynistic and vulgar language.

In an audio clip that went viral online, a Smyrna High School student can be heard being verbally harassed, allegedly by a school resource officer. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

A clip from the alleged incident first went viral on TikTok and circulated on other social media platforms.

In the audio clip, an adult identified by the department as Rutherford County Sheriff's deputy and Smyrna High School resource officer Matt King asks, "Are you a girl?"

The teen responds, "I'm a male." King replies, deriding the teen, "Are you sure, because you f**kin' fight like a girl; pulling someone's hair? That's a f**king bitch move, man," the law enforcement officer can be heard saying.

The student is heard trying to explain what led up to the situation, at which time the adult man yells at the child, "F**k you! Man, shut up!"

Then it seems that another adult, who some users who posted the clip online claimed was an assistant principal, joins in yelling and cursing at the boy.

Rutherford County Schools director of communications James Evans said in a statement to The Advocate that the school is aware of allegations that a school resource officer used inappropriate language when dealing with a student but that the clip was "heavily edited."

"We have reviewed an unedited version of the conversation and none of our employees or administrators were present during the conversation," Rutherford County Schools communication director James Evans said in a statement to The Advocate, "The student in the situation was disciplined and charged with assault of another student. Because the situation involves juveniles, we cannot release specifics."

Some people who shared the clip on social media claimed that a sexual assault on the school's campus caused the confrontation.

"We can confirm the fight was not the result of a sexual assault on our campus. That rumor is completely without merit," Evans said.

Nashville's CBS affiliate WTVF reports that the student subjected to the inappropriate lambasting in the viral clip is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Just Us @ Oasis Center, a collection of programs that advocate for Tennesee LGBTQ+ youth, released a statement condemning the in-school incident.

"Just Us at Oasis Center is dismayed and heartbroken over this incident, as we believe all young people deserve the ability to express themselves wholly and authentically," the organization wrote. "We do not condone these actions, and we will continue our work in providing a safe and affirming space for all LGBTQ+ young people to celebrate their identities."

The group added, "If you are in need of resources, please reach out, we are here for you. We stand with every LGBTQ+ young person."

A spokesperson for the Rutherford County sheriff's office tells The Advocate, "The RCSO is aware that SRO Matt King was seen on a highly edited video speaking inappropriately to a juvenile while investigating an assault on another juvenile. The situation is being reviewed and appropriate action will be taken."

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