School Resource Officer Reassigned After Tasing Student Following Argument Over Dress Code

Authorities in Ohio are investigating a school resource officer who tased a student after getting into a verbal argument about the school's dress code with one of the school's deans.

The incident occurred on Tuesday at the Wayne County Schools Career Center in Smithville, Ohio. The Wayne County Sherriff’s Office told WEWS that the 17-year-old student, who had just returned to class after a suspension, verbally attacked one of the school’s deans about the dress code. Students at the school are supposed to be in uniform, according to the news station.

Superintendent Kip Crain told WEWS that the dean offered the student clothing that he could wear for the day or have his parents drop off the uniform. The student allegedly walked out of the dean’s office and the dean called the school resource officer to help with the situation, according to the news station. Instead of listening to the deputy’s requests, the 17-year-old went to the school’s common area.

“School officials and the deputy tried to contain that [situation] away from that area but the young man moved into that area on his own,” Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Captain Doug Hunter told the news station. “The young man was given numerous opportunities not to get into any trouble at all or be involved in any type of physical altercation.”

The altercation was recorded and put on YouTube, according to WEWS. In the video obtained by ABC 5, the student can be seen resisting the resource officer in a hallway. The deputy can be seen attempting to restrain the student’s arm, but the 17-year-old gets away, which initiates the deputy to take un-holster his taser. A second school official attempts to prevent the student from walking away when the school resource officer grabs the student’s arm again.

gettyimages-1036393528-594x594 A man holds a Distance Electric Impulse Device, a type of taser, in a police station in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on April, 28, 2017. A school resource officer in Ohio has been reassigned after tasering a student for violating the dress code, authorities said. Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images

“[The student] was yelling, being disruptive and when the deputy tried to stop him, he pulled away and was resisting the deputy's efforts to get the young man to go to another area of the school,” Hunter told WEWS. “Ultimately, it escalated to the point where the deputy pulled out his Taser. After the student threatened to punch him, the deputy discharged the taser and essentially ended the incident. Even when it escalated to the point where the deputy was involved, the deputy tried to de-escalate the situation but the student wasn’t having any part of that.”

The student was not injured, according to WEWS. The school was briefly placed on lockdown following the incident, The Repository reported. The school resource officer, Deputy Matthew Little, was reassigned to another school for the rest of the year, Crain told the publication.

“I spoke with the sheriff and Captain Hunter, and Deputy Little has been reassigned, and another officer with considerable experience will be assigned for the remainder of the year,” Crain said.

An independent investigation of Little’s use of the taser will be reviewed by the Buckeye State Sherriff’s Association, Hunter told The Repository.

A similar incident occurred in August when a school resource officer from Ohio was placed on administrative leave for the use of a taser on a sleeping student. Maryssa Boskosk was a part-time resource officer at Liberty Preparatory School in Smithville, Ohio, for the year, WEWS previously reported. A male student, who is a junior at the school, fell asleep and would not wake up for his teacher or Interim Principal. Boskoski activated the taser a few feet away from the teen in an effort to wake him up. The taser did not touch the student, but the sparks from the device alarmed other teens in the classroom.

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