An Ohio school resource officer is under investigation after tasing a student for a dress code violation in an incident local police say could have ended much differently if the student had just complied.
School officials said the unnamed 17-year-old student had just returned to the Wayne County Schools Career Center following a recent suspension.
When the student was cited for a dress code violation the school's dean of students, Bruce Woodruff offered him some clothes he could wear for the day or the option to have his parents bring some to the school.
The student then became verbally abusive and walked away, so Woodruff asked Deputy Matt Little, the school resource officer, to step in. That is when things got out of hand.
Sheriff's office investigating incident involving school resource officer, student www.youtube.com
According to Wayne County Sheriff's Office Captain Doug Hunter, Deputy Little did what he could to deescalate the situation, but the student would not comply.
"The young man was given numerous opportunities not to get into any trouble at all or be involved in any type of physical confrontation."
When Deputy Little tried to restrain him the student resisted, pulling away multiple times. After Little pulled out his taser he gave the student one more chance to comply, but the student reportedly threatened to punch the Deputy, so Little discharge his weapon.
In an interview with ABC 5 Captain Hunter supported Deputy Little's decision to use the taser.
"Had he not deployed the taser the situation could have escalated into a physical fight where potentially the risk of injury would be much greater than the taser. "
After the incident EMS was called to examine the student. They determined he was unharmed but Dainyelle Adams, the student's mother, is still considering pressing charges.
"It didn't have to escalate to that" Adams said in an interview with WKYC. "Things could have been handled differently."
Some on social media were shocked by Deputy Little's actions, viewing it as a dramatic overreaction to the situation. And a recent number of incidents between students and school officials stemming from dress code violations is leaving many to wonder what is going on in schools.
@WKYCAndrewH @wkyc School administrators are supposed to be trained to handle this. Sure, the kid may have gotten… https://t.co/bpyrDr9upf— MisterB (@MisterB)1543533285.0
@Newsweek Only reassign and not fired. What the hell.— Arnold May II (@Arnold May II)1543641498.0
The man is power crazy— Shoshanah (@Shoshanah)1543485290.0
@Newsweek Thousand of students come back home each day with wound and bruises caused by corporal punishments, immun… https://t.co/TpCJy1Tk7f— Giovanni (@Giovanni)1543652666.0
In this case though many felt the student had been given ample opportunity to comply with the school resource officer.
@OchoGatosTX @WKYCAndrewH @wkyc He got tasered for failure to comply. And he did all the escalating himself.— Clif Gregory (@Clif Gregory)1543603170.0
@WKYCAndrewH @wkyc Yeah, it sounds like from the story he is lucky he didn't get arrested. This is not gaining any… https://t.co/2xEIhozgnR— Conservative814 (@Conservative814)1543598482.0
@Newsweek this article will not exist if people simply comply with designated dress code.— Victor Goh (@Victor Goh)1543657674.0
@WKYCAndrewH @wkyc If I ever acted up like that my Mom would have bee at the next school assembly and made me apolo… https://t.co/TESFVX5wxP— Stephen Jubrey (@Stephen Jubrey)1543654397.0
In an effort to be transparent the Wayne County Sheriff's office has requested an outside agency to review the incident. Deputy Little has been reassigned until the investigation is complete.
For now the student has been ordered to stay home. School officials will meet with his parents on Thursday to decide if he will be allowed to return.