Following the release of footage showing a school resource officer body-slamming and using a Taser on a student, the Pittsburgh-area school district's superintendent has called for a "fair assessment and judgment" of the incidents. In a statement to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Thursday, Woodland Hills Schools Superintendent Alan Johnson said he will accept "whatever results" arise from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office investigation.
"Very obviously we need, as an institution, to step back and assess what we can do to build a more positive climate in our schools — all of our schools," Johnson said. "We live in a world where judgment is passed on the basis of a 30-second video clip." The footage in question centers on Churchill cop Steve Shaulis, who worked as a school resource officer at Woodland Hills High School.
In one video, depicting an incident that occurred in 2015, the officer is seen slamming to the ground a student the Tribune-Review said was 15 years old at the time. Civil rights attorney Todd Hollis, who is now representing students in the Woodland Hills School District, told CBS News the footage (seen at the top of this page) then shows Principal Kevin Murray holding the student's head down as Shaulis deploys his Taser. Back in November 2016, Murray was placed on administrative leave after telling a 14-year-old student he would "punch you in the face, man-to-man, bro." Murray was later reinstated.
Another video shows an incident from 2017 involving a 14-year-old student. That footage, Hollis said, was captured amid "an accusation of a missing cell phone" at the school.
Hollis also alleges that the student in the 2017 video had his "teeth knocked out" by the officer. He now plans to file a lawsuit, citing what he says is a "pattern of abuse" clearly targeting black students in the school district. The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office is said to be working with state and federal officials on the investigation. Shaulis, the Tribune-Review said, is "not currently working" at Woodland Hills High School.