You may have heard tales, or possibly even experienced firsthand the type of punishment teachers and principals used to dole out. Whether it was getting smacked with a ruler or sitting in the corner wearing a funny hat, a lot has changed since those days. But now, we are beginning to see headlines that may make that bygone era look almost charming. A new trend of children being tasered for acting out at school is reportedly on the uptick as more armed police officers become stationed at schools.
HuffPost reports about the increase in the use of tasers at school and how the tragically high number of school shootings have lead to police being stationed in schools across the country. Many are asking just how many kids are being tasered at school and for what reason. HuffPost tracked the numbers and found the bare minimum number of kids being tasered at school was 120 since 2011. And some 32 students were pepper sprayed by police at school in the last 2 years. Since there is no agency keeping track of these statistics, HuffPost had to count on local news headlines to come up with their number, but they suspect there have been many incidents that have gone unreported in the news.
The reason to use force with a stun gun or pepper spray at school has been things like breaking up fights, taking down a student with a weapon or even something as slight as “showing defiance” to officers. In Florida, a stun gun was used to break up a fight between an 11 and 13 year old girl. A 7 year old special needs student in Texas was tasered after having a difficult-to-control outburst in class.
Some believe the problem lies in the fact that police officers who work in schools receive zero training on how to work with children. And their taser guns, which are meant for grown adults, may be too powerful and pose a health risk for a small child. The stun guns come with warning labels saying that they can be dangerous if used on a child or someone with a low body mass index. Cardiologist Douglas Zipes says, "It would be my opinion that tasing an 11- or 12-year-old in the chest is more dangerous for potentially causing cardiac arrest than tasing a 17- or 18-year-old who has a more developed chest to protect the heart.”
What do you think of the increase in stun gun use on students in schools across the country over the last several years?
Do you think police should limit their use of stun guns at school and receive training before working with children?