Woman caught on video assaulting black teenager at community pool has lost her job
Earlier this week, a white woman was arrested after she "physically assaulted" a 15-year-old black boy at a community pool. The woman allegedly forced him and his friends to leave the public area, hitting him several times.
In the footage taken and posted onto Facebook, 38-year-old Stephanie Sebby-Strempel can be seen hitting the boy, who was with friends at the pool in Summerville, South Carolina on Sunday. She reportedly confronted the boys as soon as she saw them, telling them that they weren't allowed in the pool, before striking the victim three times.
In the video, not only does she bat the camera away, but she threatens to call 911 to get them to leave. The post subsequently went viral, with the woman in question dubbed by the internet as #PoolPatrolPaula. While this could easily have been another incident that causes outrage only then to be soon forgotten, this seems to have had real consequences.
The following day, Stephanie was arrested by police, and she reportedly resisted the arrest, Dorchester County sheriff’s officers said. She then assaulted two officers, injuring one's knee, and biting the arm of another, breaking the skin. The story continued to grow across social media, to the point that some social media users discovered where she worked, and contacted her employers to let them know how one of their employees had been behaving recently.
As it turned out, Stephanie has been working as a consultant for Rodan + Fields, a skincare production company, and some were asking for some disciplinary measures - including her dismissal from the role. "Maybe your stint in jail will wake you up a little," one user wrote, adding "Rodan & Fields is this the person you want representing you or selling your products."
These criticisms and requests were then met by the official account for Rodan + Fields, who responded to explain that she was only an independent contractor. Their statement, which many found dissatisying, said:
"We do not condone violence of any kind and pride ourselves on embracing inclusion and acceptance of all. Please note, this person is not a Rodan + Fields employee, but an Independent Contractor. We are reaching out to this individual to reiterate our corporate values."
The statement wasn't received too well online, with some believing it was too lenient on the offender. "What is there to be reiterated?" one user said, "She is obviously racist and she is promoting your product". Another said:
"Your company doesnt condone violence from your employees yet you do from your independent contractors
"She phyiscally attacked and used racial slurs against a minor.
"You don't need to reiterate your rules. You need to terminate her contract."
In response to this, the company gave another statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, in which they confirmed that she had been fired from her role. "In accordance with our policies and after assessing statements from law enforcement, this Independent Consultant is no longer affiliated with Rodan + Fields," the statement read.
From the video, it seemed that Sebby-Strempel believed she was well within her rights, but clearly didn't foresee the consequences of her actions all within the same week.