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Eustis High Taser incident draws protest at Lake County School Board meeting


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Cassandra Brown of Leesburg speaks at a press event and protest organized by the Florida Student Power Network outside the Lake County School Board office on Monday evening. Photo: Joe Byrnes


A dozen people rallied before a School Board meeting in Tavares Monday evening about two weeks after a deputy at Eustis High used a Taser on a 15-year-old Black girl.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says using the taser was appropriate.

Cassandra Brown of Leesburg and her 18-year-old daughter joined the protesters. 

“How do we help the children?” Brown said. “We do not tase the children. How could we have gotten her help? The student needed help.”

Protesters pointed to racial disparities. Some called for removing school resource officers.

In the Eustis case, the girl slapped, punched and kneed the deputy, who was trying to stop a fight. 

Sgt. Fred Jones told the board not to consider removing deputies.

“We’re not just talking about the safety of it,” he said. “We’re talking about what they provide. We’re talking about deputies that have talked kids out of committing suicide. You know, we’re talking about deputies that have given them guidance when they don’t have their parents at home.”

Lake County School Board members underscored their “comprehensive” approach to school safety. The county also funds mental health liaisons and school nurses.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.

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