Mother: School Officer Pulled a Stun Gun on Autistic Child

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The mother of a West Rockingham Middle School student is upset after a school resource officer allegedly pulled a stun gun on her autistic daughter on Monday.

The officer did not use the stun gun on the student, however Lori Bradford says her daughter, Kristen Bradford, refuses to go back to school after the incident.

According to the mother, the incident happened when teachers and administrators questioned the 13-year-old about a teacher’s missing cell phone.

“They said ‘Do you have it? Where is it?’ That’s when I walked out the classroom, and the safest place, I thought, was the bathroom,” said Kristen Bradford.

Kristen became “agitated” and fled to a bathroom stall where, according to police, she pushed an assistant principal.

“I’ve never had to pull a taser. I don’t even own one. I’ve never had to resort to physical contact with her,” said Lori Bradford.

The student’s mother said that is when the officer pulled out the stun gun.

“I’m glad they didn’t (use the stun gun on Kristen) but at the same time they sacred her to death… to where she was scared to even come out of the bathroom,” said Lori Bradford.

Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Rodney Shotwell said the school resource officer did what she thought would keep everyone safe.

“The safety of the staff and the safety of the students are always our utmost concern,” said Shotwell, who said he thinks a meeting between the school and the Bradfords will help clear things up. “We never want kids to think there aren’t loving caring adults around.”

Showell said everyone involved can learn from the incident. However, Lori Bradford said this is the wrong way for a school to teach a lesson.

“They treated her like this one time. What are they going to do next time if something else gets gone?” said Lori Bradford.

Shotwell said officers act at their own discretion in situations where they perceive danger. He said this is the first time a resource officer has threatened to use a stun gun since 2009.