Did you know high schools and even middle schools have started using tasers on students? I didn’t.
There’s a brewing controversy on this now in Wichita, Kansas, which I learned about from Jake Lowen of the excellent organization Hope Street Youth Development. Here’s the timeline he sent:
February: Wichita Police introduce tasers into schools.
Early March: Students at Wichita West High School discover this and are understandably concerned. Organized by Hope Street, they gather 250 signatures on a letter to the school district asking about health effects and the district’s use policy.
March 16th: A 15 year-old student is tasered during a confrontation at another high school, Wichita North. However, no one except those involved know at the time because the school district covers it up.
The next week: The tasering becomes public thanks to an anonymous tip from a teacher. The Wichita Eagle criticizes the school district for trying to hide it.
Today, March 30th: The Wichita Eagle reveals two other attempts to taser students, including a 14 year-old girl.
If you know anything more about schools using tasers, either where you live or elsewhere, I’d be very curious to hear about itâ€”either in comments here or via email. And if you’re wondering why this matters, you can read Amnesty International’s 2004 report, documenting 114 (adult) deaths from tasers.