11-Year-Old Shot with Taser Gun at School
By Gerri Elder
An 11-year-old girl from Orange County, Florida was shot with a Taser gun by a deputy at her school and taken to a juvenile detention center after an alleged altercation at her elementary school on March 27.
The girl is a student at Moss Park Elementary school. Her mother says that she has a learning disability and really does not understand what is going on because she does not have the mental capacity of a normal 11-year-old child.
The incident began when other children at the school told the music teacher that they saw the girl pushing a younger child near the road. The music teacher approached the girl to talk to her about the allegations, but the girl reportedly ignored her and continued to her homeroom classroom.
The music teacher then notified the homeroom class teacher and both teachers confronted the girl. The girl then became upset and began yelling. She then refused to walk to the office, shoved her desk and attempted to spit on the teachers, according to a report by The Orlando Sentinel.
At that point, the teachers called Deputy Donna Hudepohl, who works at the school as a resource officer. Hudepohl entered the classroom and attempted to talk to the girl about her behavior. The girl reportedly again refused to go to the office, stood up and pushed the officer and then punched her in the face causing a facial injury. Hudepohl and the teacher tried to restrain the girl but she kept fighting. At that point, the deputy decided to use her Taser weapon.
In Orange County, school policy allows students to be shot with a Taser gun if they are "aggressive" or fight with deputies. Hudepohl was well within the school district's policy when she shot the student with the Taser gun, and no disciplinary action was or will be taken against her.
While most people would not be outraged over this particular out of control student being shocked by a Taser after she injured the deputy, it is notable that the school district's policy does not seem to impose an age restriction on Taser use on students. According to school policy, if a 5-year-old child was being aggressive at school, the Taser is an acceptable option to bring the student under control.
Hudepohl's nose was bleeding after incident and said to be in a lot of pain from the injury. She and the child were taken to Florida Hospital East. The child had the Taser prongs removed, and Hudepohl was treated for bruising to her nasal cavity.
The child was taken to a juvenile detention center after leaving the hospital and appeared in an Orlando courtroom the next day with her hands and feet shackled. She was released to her mother on the condition that she observe a 6 p.m. curfew, attend school and counseling, and return to court for a trial on May 28. She is charged with battery on a law-enforcement officer, disrupting a school function and resisting with violence.
The child that the girl was accused of pushing showed up at court in support of her. The girl's mother says that her child is not violent and there must be some mistake.
Aside from the deputy and the Taser prongs in the little girl's skin, no one else was injured in the incident.