published Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

School tasing may be new LaFayette 'brand'

  • Tasing in LaFayette
    Youtube video shot by LaFayette student.

What? A school resource officer breaks up a fight between two high school girls by shooting one with a Taser?

What? In LaFayette, Ga.?

Perhaps the only thing more mind-numbing than the idea that the school resource officer, Billy Mullis, used a Taser in an inappropriate time, place and way is the fact that LaFayette Police Chief Bengie Clift and Schools Superintendent Damon Raines supported Mullis' decision to fire on the girls, ages 17 and 16.

The scene was captured on a 28-second video by a student with a mobile phone. The footage shows two girls pulling each other's hair in a roll-around match on the pavement outside the school during lunch break.

Wrap your thinking caps around this: School officials across the country are discouraged from paddling youngsters who misbehave, but it's OK to shoot them with a Taser.

Please. At least not in this situation.

This was not an assault rifle-armed teen rampaging school hallways -- which certainly would have constituted a need for the resource officer's quick action. This was not a knife fight. This was two girls challenging each other for space.

Were the girls behaving inappropriately? Sure, but so was breaking up the fight with a Taser gun.

Male or female, we've all been there. Usually in middle school or high school when we felt our perception of ourselves was challenged. One of us pushed. The other pushed back. We repeated the gesture over and over until we were on the ground in a scuffle.

A teacher and coach -- or maybe other students -- stepped in to stop the circus. In a week or so, most of us became fast friends.

But not in LaFayette, Ga., population 7,111. Not in LaFayette, which may have just found the way to fix what town officials have called a problem with "branding" for town marketing.

The video shows a girl shot with the Taser scream and roll face-down on the cement.

Both girls face criminal charges of affray (fighting in a public place), a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a possible fine or up to $1,000. Officials said they plan to try the 17-year-old as an adult.

Meanwhile school officials are pursuing a manhunt for the student who shot the video: It seems he or she violated the school's "appropriate cellphone use" policy that students must sign to promise they will not post online photos and videos made at school.

The Taser incident on Thursday didn't become public until the video was posted on YouTube. It was viewed more than 2,000 times before it was removed Friday. (It can still be viewed on the newspaper's website at, and its posting along with the story gleaned more than 250 comments from readers Saturday.)

In late April, LaFayette launched a downtown branding contest, and officials said they will accept entries until June 1.

They want a catchy slogan and logo to promote LaFayette's historic downtown. The winner will get $50 cash and the satisfaction of seeing his or her idea on shirts banners and signs.

Norcross, Ga., has "a place to imagine." Opelousas, La., is "perfectly seasoned." Dalton is known as the "Carpet Capital of the World."

Maybe LaFayette can be the "Home of the Teen Tasers."

It's just mind numbing.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
aae1049 said...

Exactly, cannot paddle, but electric darts that could kill them are perfectly A OK. Absurd. School fights have occurred since the beginning for schools.

May 29, 2013 at 1:18 a.m.
mellis said...

I totally support Officer Mullis as well. I personally know him and don't believe he would do something like this unless it was necessary. Had he not made the decision he did, he could be facing sexual harrassment charges from one of the girls. You can't always control where your hands will land when you're breaking up a fight, boy or girl. If this fight has taken place in someone's front yard or in the street, do you think people would be making such a fuss about it? We probably wouldn't have even heard about it.

May 29, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
jesse said...

Before mace and tasers it would have been a convoy blackjack or a billy stick!

Maybe the bleeding hearts think if he just told them"Now girls youall need to cut this out" that would have been enough!

Every time an officer gets involved he is at risk for HIV and any number of things! Keep you distance while stoping the fight is the safe way!

Is this some of David Cooks work??

May 29, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.
klifnotes said...

jesse said... Before mace and tasers it would have been a convoy blackjack or a billy stick!

Before SROs there were no SROs in schools and we all turned out just fine. In fact, experts are finally waking up to finding a link between poor performing schools where there are SROs and schools being runned like prisons instead of educational facilities.

Tasers, even locally, have already been used in poor minority schools long before this incident and most everyone cheered the Taser happy SRO. It's unfortunate it took two white girls getting Tased for anyone to care.

see: "Handicapped Texas Man Shocked To Death With Taser On Suspicion Of Drugs That Apparently Weren’t There"

In another Tase-Crazed incident several years ago, a 14yr Chicago youth was Tased and went into a coma. Not sure of the outcome. These tragic deaths and injuries show up in the news then are suddenly forgotten until the next one happens.

May 29, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Why do we have SRO's in schools. When did this start? On the surface, this seems like a great idea. Has it prevented problems or shootings, or created problems? just asking.

May 29, 2013 at 2:50 p.m.
jesse said...

Klifnotes, back in those days if you started acting out a teacher would snatch you up by the stacking swivel and WEAR YOUR ASS OUT!!

Can't do that no mo ,they put the teachers arz in JAIL!The teacher is not in control anymore so we got sro's w/mace and tasers!

May 29, 2013 at 2:53 p.m.
klifnotes said...

jesse said... Klifnotes, back in those days if you started acting out a teacher would snatch you up by the stacking swivel and WEAR YOUR ASS OUT!!

jesse, so we shoot them with Tasers and chance killing them instead, and you see that as a solution?

Can't do that no mo ,they put the teachers arz in JAIL!The teacher is not in control anymore so we got sro's w/mace and tasers!

Yes, teacher, staff and others can and do still carry out corporal punishment, especially in most southern schools. btw: Teachers can be abusers too. Some over-the-top teachers deserve to go to jail.

May 29, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
jesse said...

Well klif you shoot holes in my views so how about you tellin me what your solution is!

May 29, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.
klifnotes said...

jesse said... Well klif you shoot holes in my views so how about you tellin me what your solution is!

solution? First you have to agree what the problem is, and if there ever was a real problem to begin with.

The fact is, children are going to always cut up, act out and act up like children were designed to do, and at some point, no matter how gentle police go into the schools, police are going to cut up, act up and act out like police have always done. Are you or anyone so naive that you believe otherwise? That police would treat school children any better than they sometimes treat the average citizen they encounter on the streets?

May 29, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
conservative said...

The writer has a two teenage girls fighting on the ground " is not a big deal attitude."

Well, 16 and 17 year olds can cause serious injury to each other.

If one had been hurt there would be lawsuits and complaints of "why didn't someone stop the fight?"

There was only one officer and two fighting teenagers, what was he suppose to?

The students knew and had been warned that the officer had a taser and was authorized to use it. Believe it or not there is a reason why the officer was given a taser.

The officer shouted warnings to stop before using it.

The officer stopped the fight. Well done.

The Sheriff justified the officers actions.

Any doubts one of the parents would not have sued for inappropriate touching of a female by a male officer?

Fighting in school is inappropriate behavior and not to be tolerated contrary to the wishes of some.

What kind of mindset shrugs off fighting in school?

May 29, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
aae1049 said...

For inappropriate behavior, I would prefer the "Mean Coach and Paddle with holes drilled it in," Model, rather than the electric darts that scar and cause cardiac failure for some.

May 29, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.
klifnotes said...

Fighting in school is inappropriate behavior and not to be tolerated contrary to the wishes of some

Inappropriate or not, fighting in school (or any learning environment) is not a new phenomenon and dates back to biblical times and even your very own Jesus Christ. Who'd likely have gotten Tased himself in today's school environment for some of the antics he pulled. He'd also likely have been placed on Ritalin and would have a juvenile record.

May 29, 2013 at 10:28 p.m.
conservative said...

Your blasphemy aside, Jesus suffered far worse than that for the antics (sins) that you and I pulled, himself being without sin.

May 30, 2013 at 6:54 a.m.
jesse said...

Well before you can paddle their butts ya gotta stop the fight before someone loses an eye or some teeth and i don't think tellin them "youall stop this so i can whip your arz" will gitter done!!

May 30, 2013 at 7:13 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Oh lordy, don't talk to Connie. His mind is metaphorical a dark alley lined with trash cans packed full of religious nonsense and pulpit style double-speak.

May 30, 2013 at 8:08 a.m.
Leaf said...

Speaking of Blasphemy. . .

Boy Tased at Temple

14 year old Jesus (last name unknown) was tased and arrested today at the Temple of Solomon. Bystanders say he just went berzerk and started overturning the tables of shopkeepers and moneylenders. "He was going on about how he's the son of Jehova and was just acting crazy" one woman commented. "I'm just glad assault rifles haven't been invented yet."

Police chief Balthazar Wigguman said, "We calmed the boy down with repeated blows to the head and he'll be released to his mother's care tomorrow. We can't locate the real father. Kids these days, growing up in a broken home, what do you expect?"

A passing Centurian commented. "I'm not surprised. It's really hot here and dusty. This area of the world is a real armpit. Every day there's a new cult. Kids trying to escape their grungy dull lives through religious escapism. Sometimes it makes me want to move to Gaul, despite the barbarians. And what's with these robes? Why don't they wear respectable tunics? Looks like they just rolled out of bed. And cut your hair, punks!"

May 30, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.
klifnotes said...

Conserv, what you consider blasphemy is actually historical fact. There was the biblical Jesus and there was the historical human one who did sin. Where the biblical Jesus is said to have been without sin, the historical one is said to have committed some seriously sinful stuff, especially as a juvenile.

(1.) Blinding a teacher

(2.) Accused of killing a playmate then bringing him back to life.

May 30, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.
Easy123 said...


It seems as though you've read Bart Ehrman's book on the historicity of Jesus.

May 30, 2013 at 1:44 p.m.
klifnotes said...

Actually, Easy123, the story of Jesus as a child could be found in the Book of Jubilee in most western and European religious text for centuries until bits and pieces began to disappear until the entire chapter was gone. But I'd like to read Bart Ehrman's book. I enjoy studying and reading about the various religions throughout the world from a historical rather than religious point of view. It helps to better understand why even within various same religions there are internal conflicting differeneces that often clash with one another from the inside.

May 30, 2013 at 7:09 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.