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Readers shocked over reports of kids getting zapped with stun guns


The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 2 about kids getting zapped with stun guns on "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" at the Franklin Correctional Institution.

After a sergeant zapped them with 50,000 volts of electricity, the children "yelped in pain, fell to the ground and grabbed red burn marks on their arms. One was taken to a nearby hospital," Times reporter Meg Laughlin wrote.

The story generated more than 115 comments from readers, who were outraged at the guards -- and the parents who apparently allowed the demonstrations. Christine Jamesson of Clearwater asked, "What was the Corrections sergeant thinking?" in a letter published on It's Your Times.

Now Laughlin reports that two more state prisons have acknowledged that guards zapped visiting children with handheld stun guns on "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day." One guard was fired last week at Franklin prison in the Panhandle, and 10 employees have been suspended while the incidents are investigated at the two other prisons.

Today readers are asking questions about the prison guards and demanding all the guards involved be fired. 

"Are these people nuts?" asked A.H. from New Port Richey. "You don't just go around 'showing' how a Taser works. What if those kids had undiagnosed problems and the shock killed them?"

"How are these 'professionals' hired? Does somebody say, 'raise your hand if you want to be a jail guard'?" wrote OldSkool of Tampa Bay.

"These people should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law," says Scott of St. Pete.

Read today's story and join the discussion.

Getty Images photo

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:52pm]


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