We need more officers in the schools to protect the children and avoid another Parkland massacre. That was the premise leading up to the new school year. While many supported arming teachers and having more officers in the schools, pragmatics knew it could only lead to more trouble. Which it did for one student. Instead of being protected, this student was targeted and came face to face with a Taser by a school cop because he was asleep. So much for use of force procedures.
Part-time piggy, officer Maryssa Boskoski, is on unpaid leave after using her Taser to wake up a sleeping student at Liberty Preparatory School, 243 North Milton St. Boskoski works part-time and was assigned to the community charter school in the village for the school year.
According to News 5 Cleveland, the junior was asleep in class and refused to wake up for the teacher. The principal, Jenna Parnell, was called and the student still refused to wake up. The school cop was called and walked down to the classroom with Parnell. Bokoski then activated the Taser a few feet away from the student.
“She did take her Taser, remove the cartridge from it, and arced the Taser,” said Smithville Police Chief Howard Funk.
The school cop did activate the Taser but the probes did not deploy and the Taser did not touch the student. The sound of the crackling Taser along with the commotion in the classroom startled the student causing him to jump out of his seat.
Mission accomplished, Boskoski.
The principal was shocked by the officer’s actions. Boskoski provided no warning to the students or the staff. She simply whipped out the Taser and cranked it on.
“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.
The chief acknowledged that the officer did violate the department’s Taser use policy. Based upon her actions in the classroom, her job could be in jeopardy. Funk plans to meet with the village solicitors to determine if any criminal charges should be filed against Boskoski.
“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.
Earlier this year, Boskoski was recognized and given a letter of recognition for responding to a suspicious person call. She surprisingly didn’t lose her cool and managed to confirm the man’s identity and that he was wanted. She determined that he was homeless and gave him a jacket, hat, and gloves. She also secured a place for him to stay for the night with the Salvation Army in Wooster.
This is not the school cop’s first hiccup with the Taser. A performance log noted that Boskoski forgot to remove the cartridge from a Taser prior to a spark test. That resulted in the Taser being deployed in “close proximity” to another officer.