Groups Urge TEA to Ban Use of Tasers, Spray in Schools
The state’s education commissioner should ban the use of Tasers, pepper spray and other “less-than-lethal” weapons in all public schools, according to a request delivered Wednesday from the ACLU and six other civil rights groups.
The groups have mounted a campaign to ban Tasers and other weapons from schools, citing a November incident where an Austin-area student was shocked by a deputy responding to a fight in the hall. Noe De Rivera, 17, who in surveillance tape appears to have been backing away from officers, was stunned and fell to the floor, hitting his head. He was in a medically-induced coma for 52 days, and his family says he has suffered brain damage.
“Texas families deserve to send their children to school without fear, knowing they can trust their schools to be safe havens,” read portions of a letter addressed to Texas Education Agency commissioner Michael L. Williams. The ban is supported by Disability Rights, Texas; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Texans Care for Children; Texas Appleseed; the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.