By: Krystle Crossman
Teachers and principals used to handle rowdy teenagers by giving them detention or making them go to the principal’s office. Now many schools have security officers that are on campus at all times. These security officers often take things too far and react to situations with more force than should be necessary with children. This was the case in a Texas school in 2011 when 17 year old Noe Niño de Rivera ended up in a medically induced coma with a traumatic brain injury because of the school security officer’s choice to use a Taser on some students who were fighting. Rivera wasn’t even the one fighting according to him lawyer, he was trying to break up some of the other students who were fighting. The officer stated that he was breaking up the fight when Rivera stepped in and so he used the Taser on him. The force of the shock sent Rivera flying into the ground head-first and caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury.
In Alabama the security officers choose to use pepper spray. Data from the schools in Birmingham had showed that over 1,000 students had been directly exposed to pepper spray since 2006 with at least three ending up in the hospital. A lawsuit was issued against the schools that were using pepper spray as enforcement stating that they should be held liable and should have restrictions when it comes to the use of chemical sprays around children.
Schools have felt the need to arm their schools with police officers or security officers more and more, especially after the 1999 Columbine Massacre and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. The problem that many parents are seeing is that the officers tend to use excessive means to control the kids in the school, even for minor infractions. Data revealed that in the last 7 months there have been 25 students who have had to seek medical attention after an officer at the school used Tasers, pepper spray, and stun guns. Every state has different laws and restrictions regarding the use of these methods of enforcement so officers are all trained differently.