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Are Tasers the Answer to School Shootings?

Regardless of whether you are on the side of #WalkOut, #WalkUp, or somewhere in the middle, the one thing we all agree on is that protecting our children from shootings and other violence is a priority.

The Charlotte Observer, siting 2016 FBI statistics points out that our teachers have a classroom with 30-40 lively children, an exercise in controlled chaos. Yet, we are asking educators who may soon be asked to carry a gun to dismiss the fact that in 2016 2,203 unintentional shootings took place, according to the Charlotte Observer.

I recently read an article on Gizmodo stating where Rick Smith, the founder, and CEO of Axon (formerly Taser), thinks the answer to school shootings is ‘Innovation’ and “offered a bold new strategy for preventing school shootings. He called for a national “Grand Challenge on School Safety,” a DARPA-funded contest where tech companies would compete for a $5 million prize by pitching “innovative solutions” to gun violence in schools.”

There’s a side that wants to arm school officers and a side that believes guns in schools are too extreme. What is the middle ground? The compromise of something less lethal?

The debate has turned to allow officers to bring Tasers to school.

Tasers are hand-held weapons that deliver a jolt of electricity from a device triggered from a nearby distance.

The jolt stuns the target by causing an uncontrollable contraction of the muscle tissue.

The target is immobilized and falls to the ground.

What option do we have that effectively halts a violent intruder intent on killing students that is non-lethal?

Do we put a police officer at every school in the nation?

Who absorbs the cost?

What role does he hold without an attack?

One school in Pennsylvania is arming classrooms with five-gallon buckets of rocks–river stones, to be exact.

We have heard about the teachers, coaches, and adults who have been a human shield from every school shooting, sacrificing their own lives to protect the children.

These heroes deserve to be recognized.

What if we trained and certified teachers to have a chance at taking down the intruder?

The question turns to whether to arm teachers with tasers. Of course, this would be misuse would have consequences for the teacher.

The chance of serious injury is far less than it would be with a gun.

George Braun, has a military background as an infantry battalion commander and an international airline captain during 9-11-01 shared his opinion with Northwest Herald, and supporter of Tasers in school writes:

It’s not about gun control or Second Amendment rights. It’s about reaction time at the scene and collateral damage containment while stopping the attack.

US News covered a story about York County Schools, where “police officers are equipped with enough to meet a threat inside the school and hold it at bay.

They carry Tasers and pepper spray. They also wear body cameras.”

School Security says that Tasers in school isn’t a new concept; in fact, some schools have been using tasers to subdue violent assailants for a few years. sites several incidents in the news, including:

November 20, 2006:  Henderson, NV

The father of a high school student became combative and was escorted off campus by school police and security personnel after coming to the school nurse’s office for his daughter. 

The male threatened to return with a gun. 

He came back with a knife and was arrested after breaking loose, hitting two officers, and being hit by a Taser from city police who also responded.

May 6, 2005:  Middleburg, FL

A school resource officer was treated and released from the hospital for a concussion and bite wound to his hand that resulted from assault by an 18-year-old high school student who was trespassing, refused to leave school grounds resisted arrest.

The suspect reportedly punched the officer in the face and knocked his radio from his hand as he tried to call for help after the officer fell. 

The suspect reportedly punched and kicked him while he was on the ground. 

The student left the area to go to another office and was subsequently arrested by the officer after using a Taser on him.

August 19, 2005:  Tampa, FL

A 39-year-old mother and her 16-year-old son were charged with felony offenses, allegedly assaulting a school police officer at a high school. 

Reports indicate that the family had been attempting to register the 16-year-old at the high school all week, although he had been suspended from school since last school year.

School officials referred the family to a high school closer to their home when the male reportedly “body checked” the officer, almost knocking him to the ground. 

The officer, while arresting the student, was allegedly attacked by the mother and the son. 

The suspect’s other brother, age 22, reportedly started to attack the officer but was stopped by a security officer. 

The police officer reportedly pulled a Taser, and the two ceased the attack, at which time all three family members were arrested.

North Carolina Rep. Larry Pittman revived his plan to prevent school shootings by equipping teachers with guns, saying, “We have to get over this useless hysteria about guns and allow school personnel to have a chance to defend their lives and those of their students.”

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