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Florida Middle and High School Deputies to Carry Tasers


Following a Flagler County School District meeting Tuesday night, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office says it will equip middle and high school resource deputies with Taser guns.

"We will proceed once we hear from the district Superintendent as to whether there is additional input they wish to submit," Maj. David O'Brien, of the Sheriff's Office, said in a statement Wednesday.

Video of an assault on a student and a school resource officer in Matanzas High School released by the Sheriff's Office last week sparked a debate about whether deputies should carry Taser guns on campuses.

A Flagler County deputy who tried to break up a fight on Aug. 29 was taken down and punched several times by a 16-year-old student, deputies said.

Flagler deputies used to carry stun guns on campus until an incident in which a deputy used one to subdue a special education student at Flagler Palm Coast High School four years ago.

In the Aug. 29 incident, the boy was seen punching another student when school resource Deputy Don Apperson stepped in.

Out of view of the camera, the student allegedly head-butted Apperson. Moments later, Apperson was seen taken to the floor and punched several times before others came to his assistance.

The student, Joseph Mastrostefano, was charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer.

That fight caused the school board to reconsider its policy on allowing officers to carry stun guns on campus.

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