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Texas Public Schools
Fri December 6, 2013
Groups Demand State Agency Stop Using Stun Guns & Pepper Spray On School Kids
A group of civil rights and social justice groups are calling on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers to ban school resource officers from being allowed to use stun guns and pepper spray against students.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is one of the groups pushing to ban school police officers from using such practices, what the commission calls less-than-lethal tactics.
The plea comes after a high school student at Bastrop ISD’s Cedar Creek campus was "Tased" as he allegedly was trying to break up a fight between two other students.
"This situation in Bastrop is just a unfortunately a symbol of a lot that is wrong with the way we treat children in this state, particularly our school children," said ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke.
The Bastrop student suffered brain injuries when he hit the ground during the incident and he remains in a medically-induced coma, according to a lawsuit filed against the school by the boy’s mother. Burke said these methods of intervention are just a continuation of Texas’ school-to-prison pipeline.
"School district's have policies and such that really set kids up to a path of criminal justice engagement, shall we say," Burke said.
Burke said she’d like to see Texas completely ban the use of stun guns or other such devices.
"I don’t think a Taser ought be used on anybody," Burke said. "But I certainly don’t think they ought to be used on children. And I think that anybody charged with keeping our school safe should also be properly trained for deescalating situations."