By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal, May 19, 2010, p. 1
As the School Administrative District (SAD) #20 school board for Fort Fairfield schools considers a proposal to allow Fort Fairfield Police officers to function as teachers in Fort Fairfield schools, fears parents have of Taser use on their children may require more serious thought.
A Taser is a gun-type object that electrocutes its victims with a 50,000 volt electric shock, rendering them temporarily incapacitated and in some cases has caused death. Police across the United States have been abusing their Tasers as if they were nothing more than fancy cattle prods to coerce and intimidate the citizenry they serve.
As cited in last edition of the Fort Fairfield Journal, Maine Revised Statutes, Title 17-A, section 106 states a teacher is justified to use a “reasonable degree of non-deadly force against any such person who creates a disturbance when and to the extent that the teacher or other entrusted person reasonably believes it necessary to control the disturbing behavior.” That section of law defines “reasonable degree of force” as “the physical force applied to the child which may result in no more than transient discomfort or minor temporary marks.”
Since a Taser, most of the time, only creates a devastating shock, it is classified as “non-deadly” force and does not result in more than transient discomfort or minor temporary marks, thereby making it a justified means of punishment or coercion under Maine Law.