Police are defending the use of a Taser to stop a 12-year-old girl from allegedly assaulting a school staff member in Oshawa.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Durham Police Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss said that officers called to Sir Albert Love Catholic School on Monday morning had to make a “split second decision” amid what she said was an active assault call.

“She (the girl) was actively violently assaulting a female staff member of that school. That female staff member did have injuries. That assault was ongoing and officers made the decision at the time to deploy the Taser and it was effective,” she said.

Bortoluss said the girl did not sustain physical injuries.

Police were initially called to the school near Wilson Road North and Hillcroft Street at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday after receiving reports that multiple teachers and a student were being assaulted.

According to police, officers approached the suspect, who was a student at the school, in a classroom.

“She was armed with scissors at the time. Officers immediately began to speak with that female. They attempted to de-escalation techniques with her. They requested she dropped the scissors. She did comply with that demand,” Bortoluss said.

“As officers continued to talk with her she fled out a door that was in the classroom back door led to the school yard.”

Police followed her to the schoolyard where they say she was actively assaulting a school staff member. It was at this time that a Taser was deployed.

Bortoluss added that the suspect was “extremely upset” and that “sometimes it’s difficult to deescalate those situations regardless of what you do.”

“The officers priority was the victim that was getting physically and violently assaulted, and he made the best decision that he felt was possible to stop that threat.”

The 12-year-old, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was taken into custody and has been charged with four counts of assault and one count of mischief.

Police said that one person was struck in the head and needed to be transported to hospital for treatment.

Bortoluss said that police will review the use of force by responding officers in keeping with standard protocol.

“Regardless of age we always do a review on the use of force to make sure that they comply with our standards as well as community safety standards,” she said.

In a letter sent to parents, the Durham Catholic School Board stressed there are no further safety concerns related to the incident.

“The situation is contained,” the letter reads.

“We have assembled a team to support anyone who may be experiencing heightened emotions at this time. Students are encouraged to reach out to a caring adult to arrange support through our social workers.”