A Smithville, Ohio, school resource officer was put on unpaid leave after allegedly using her Taser to wake up a student who was sleeping during class.
But let’s start at the beginning: On Aug. 30, at Liberty Preparatory School, a community charter school, the following incident occurred.
According to News5 Cleveland, neither the teacher nor interim principal Jenna Parnell could wake the male student, who is a junior at the school. So they called in Maryssa Boskoski, who was assigned as a part-time school resource officer for the school year, to assist them.
Now, one might think that an officer, who should be trained in the basics of first aid, would check to make sure that the student was breathing or that his pulse was OK because it is beyond strange that he wouldn’t wake up.
But nope. Boskoski, 32, strolled into the classroom with Parnell and activated her Taser a few feet away from the teen, much to the shock of everyone.
“I was a little surprised by it. Our interest is in the safety of our students so hearing that go off was a little alarming,” Parnell said.
“She did take her Taser, remove the cartridge from it, and arced the Taser,” Smithville Police Chief Howard Funk acknowledged.
No probes were deployed, and the Taser did not touch the student, however, between the sparking noises and the uproar it caused in the classroom, the student finally woke up.
The police chief said that Boskoski violated the use of Taser policy, and is planning to meet with the village solicitor to see if any criminal charges should be filed.
“It’s unfortunate and I’m disappointed that this took place. It’s something I would not have expected from any of our officers,” Funk said.
And, to make matters worse, this is—of course—not Bokowski’s first misuse of a Taser. Earlier this year a performance log detailed that she did not remove the cartridge from a Taser prior to a spark test, deploying the weapon next to another officer. She was warned that any future negligence could result in disciplinary action.
At least when she did her little spark test on the student she actually did remove the cartridge, so perhaps she did learn something after all.
In the meantime, Liberty Prep sent out a letter to parents and guardians making them aware of the situation and noting that they were cooperating with the police.
“We want to assure all of our students, parents/guardians, and the community, that we take the safety and security of our Liberty Prep family seriously and give it our highest priority,” the letter noted.