School resource officer uses taser to startle sleeping high school student

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Police departments have policies on when it’s appropriate for officers to use a stun gun, such as a taser. 

Deploying one– to wake up a sleeping student— is not in the manuals. But that’s what happened in Smithville, Ohio.

“One of my officers apparently thought that the sound form the taser might be sufficient to wake up the student,” said Chief Howard Funk. 

It happened last Thursday at Liberty Prep, a community charter school.

A teacher and interim principal, Jinna Parnell, struggled to wake up a boy, who is a junior. That’s when school resource officer Maryssa Boskoski grabbed her taser.

“She did take her taser, removed the cartridge from it and arced the taser,” said Chief Funk.

Chief Howard Funk says no probes were deployed– and the taser did not touch the boy— who eventually woke up from the combination of sparking noises and classroom commotion.

Parnell believes Boskoski may have thought it was a joke– but it was stunning to those in the classroom.

“I was a little bit surprised by it,” said Jenna Parnell, interim principal. “Our interest is in the safety of our students so hearing that go off was a little alarming.”

“Unfortunate and I’m disappointed that this took place,” said Chief Funk. “It’s something I would not have expected from any of my officers.”

Boskoski, who works part-time, was placed on unpaid leave.

Liberty Prep sent home a letter to parents today.

The police chief hopes to wrap up his internal investigation soon and that will determine if the school resource officer will keep her job. The chief is also planning to meet with the village solicitor to determine if any criminal charges should be filed.”

“What ends up happening in the end is yet to be seen,” said Chief Funk. 

A review of her personnel file shows she served in the Air Force Reserve and was commended for helping a homeless man.

It also reveals she was counseled for failing to remove the cartridge from a taser in July and it deployed near an officer.

The school isn’t sure if Boskoski will be back after classroom taser incident.          

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