It's pretty well established that teenagers in general always have been and always will be assholes who want to challenge authority at all times. I think the biggest differences now aren't teens, but the society they're growing up in. As a society we've tied parent's hands when it comes to being able to really discipline kids. The fact of the matter is that "time outs" and "grounding" and things like that just don't work on a lot of children, and because in a lot of states it's even illegal to spank your kids, they grow up not really having a firm grasp on action vs consequence. And then of course, we blame their parents for being bad parents. I know I've had plenty of people imply that my 8 year old acts the way he does because I'm "not disciplining him well enough", but they're usually the first person to get all offended when I say that yes, when all else fails, I DO spank my son (it's legal in my state, thank the gods). It doesn't have much impact outside of the moment, but there are times when it's the only way to sort of shock him out of his behavior.
There's also the fact that most people aren't even talking about, which is the fact that the teacher called the police on a student for using a cell phone and refusing to hand it over/put it away. That's not what the police are for. Resource officers aren't mall cops. They're REAL cops. And their job isn't to deal with a student who won't listen to you. Their job is to deal with the students who pose a real threat to themselves or others. A girl on a cell phone doesn't pose a threat, so he never should have been called in the first place. And the fact that "disturbing school" is now enough to throw someone in jail is absurd. We had two or three resource officers assigned to my high school, and one was always on campus any time classes were in session, with the other two patrolling the nearby areas so they could respond quickly in the case of a crisis. The cops were not there to handle disciplining a situation like this one, and had they been called on to deal with it, they likely would have told the teacher and administrators to deal with it themselves.
Beyond all of that is the fact that the current movement to bring more clarity and openness about police forces and the fact that they're more likely to protect their own than police their own has lead a lot of people, especially hot head teens who suck at making decisions (which is basically almost all of them) to lacking respect for them and the authority they're supposed to encompass. The fact that this particular cop apparently has a reputation and history for being particularly harsh with African Americans I'm sure only exacerbated the problem.
There are moments I'm worried for the track our society is taking, but then I remember... the people who do the most complaining about the world our kids are growing up in right now... are the ones who made the world this way in the first place. Our kids certainly didn't.