Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2017

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School District Police officer uses stun gun on student

Updated Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 | 6:25 p.m.

A Clark County School District Police officer used a stun gun on an unruly 16-year-old student this morning at Las Vegas High School, officials said.

The officer shocked the boy shortly after 7 a.m. when the student became verbally and physically aggressive toward staff and police at the school in the 6500 block of East Sahara Avenue, School District Police Capt. Ken Young said.

The teen, whose name was not released, was booked at a juvenile detention center on disturbance and battery on a public official counts, Young said.

The episode follows two recent school stabbings and a pair of “major” pepper spray incidents, and an increase of pushing-and-shoving-type fights, Young said. It was the first incident involving a stun gun since the devices became available to school police in 2015.

Young said officials want to let the community know they are concerned about such incidents and that “we are looking for answers.”

Officials plan to conduct town hall-style meetings to brainstorm possible solutions, and School District Police are working to fill open officer positions, Young said. The times and dates are being finalized.

“Everybody has to play their part,” Young said about the community, officials and law enforcement, praising the “99.9 percent” of students who want a safe environment and have been cooperating with officials when incidents arise.

District officials have been in contact with other school districts that have experienced similar trends of rising violence, Young said. "Teenagers — for whatever reason — have become very defiant" and aggressive.

He reminded parents to be “nosey” and find out what’s going on with their children, and provide strategies if they come forth with issues at school.

School District Deputy Superintendent Kim Wooden spoke about an increase in students coming forward to counselors and staffs at school over private issues that may arise at home. This is a communitywide issue that goes beyond school or Las Vegas, she said.

The district is working to immediately fill eight officer positions, and budget restraints haven't affected the police department's day-to-day coverage, Young said.