A Good Argument

by digby

... for homeschooling:

The president of a school safety consulting firm said districts like Uniontown Area, which is considering arming its police officers with Tasers, have to take a conservative approach to their deployment and develop a comprehensive policy.


The school's director of security says giving the district's three officers the option of using a Taser is more about providing the safest possible conditions for children, staff and visitors than as a weapon "directed at the students."


Although he acknowledged some cases nationally in which officers allegedly have shown poor judgment in using Tasers, Trump said school officials need to be prepared to answer some questions from the public and have a dialogue about how the devices should be used in a school setting.

"The key is conservative use," he said. "I think we can say, if we can break up a fight in the hallway in a traditional way, then what's the point (of a Taser)?"

But Witold "Vic" Walczak of the ACLU in Pittsburgh thinks Uniontown -- or any other district considering Tasers -- is asking for trouble that could lead to calls of excessive force.

Unless a school has a lot of issues with officers using deadly force, Walczak said he considers Tasers "completely inappropriate."

"The problem we see around the country is police use Tasers when less force would be appropriate," he said.

The anecdotal evidence of Walczak's argument has been striking in recent years as news media have publicized claims stemming from alleged excessive force by using Tasers. Many cases involve teenagers.

Last month, a 17-year-old Winnipeg boy wielding a knife became the youngest Canadian to die after being zapped by a Taser. His family is considering a lawsuit against authorities.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the Charlotte area announced last month that a police officer wouldn't face criminal charges in the March death of a 17-year-old grocery store worker, who was shocked with a Taser after throwing items at a store manager and advancing toward the officer.

However, medical studies have shown that exposure to a conducted-energy device, or CED, like a Taser, is safe in the "vast majority of cases," according to a June report by the National Institute of Justice.

Still, the report noted that more data might be needed to determine the effects of CED exposure on small children, those with diseased hearts, the elderly and pregnant women.

Forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, a former Allegheny County coroner, said he's not aware of any argument that children would be more susceptible to death from a Taser strike than adults...

"Once you have the Taser and it's been accepted and legitimized ... I see nothing wrong with officers being able to use it on teenagers," Wecht said

This is an excellent idea. But I don't see why it should be confined to teenagers. Why not elementary school kids? They don't get in line fast enough? Zap 'em. Act up during nap time? Give 'em a jolt. They'll soon learn not to defy the authorities. teach 'em while they're young. Once they've been "accepted and legitimized" there's no reason they shouldn't be used to train kids to behave. After all, they're benign, harmless and entirely safe, so why would anyone object?

These school police have never had to use deadly force, by the way. Only one of them carries a gun. So, the usual excuse is not in play here. Clearly, they are going to use them on the students.

H/T to BT