School fight quelled with pepper spray www.privateofficer.com
School fight quelled with pepper spray http://www.privateofficer.com
A school security guard pepper-sprayed several students at Sarah T. Reed High School to quell a large fight in the cafeteria Thursday.
A group of about a dozen students began fighting during lunch, said Eddie Compass, director of security for the Recovery School District. At the time, about 500 students packed the cafeteria.
Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas said school officials expelled 12 students as a result of the incident
Rhondra Hunter, a senior at the eastern New Orleans school, said she was accidentally sprayed in the face after a student she does not know punched her. Hunter said the initial fight involved more than 12 students, estimating the number at closer to 30.
Medical workers treated the students who were sprayed. Compass said about 20 students were hit or stung by the spray.
About eight students who were not involved in the fight got the spray in their eyes once the spray entered the air, Compass said. Hunter said one of the students affected by the spray is pregnant.
Compass said the guard used the spray to stop the fight from spreading. It’s “justified when an officer feels that he is in danger, and others are in danger,” Compass said.
The spray stopped the fight in less than two minutes, he said, and no students were hit directly in the eyes. Hunter said it took about 30 minutes for EMT workers to arrive at the school and begin treating students. She said medics treated her face with milk. She was able to go home with an aunt, but said other students were kept through the afternoon if their parents could not come for them.
Jeb Tate, a spokesman for the city’s Emergency Medical Services, said staff arrived 14 minutes after receiving the call, and that first responders from the Fire Department were already at the school at the time of the incident responding to a fire alarm.
He said EMT workers would not have treated the injuries with milk, but declined to state how they were treated, citing health confidentiality laws.
“The kids were treated appropriately,” he said.
Hunter said the fight stemmed from a fight at the school Wednesday. She said the building went into lockdown mode on Wednesday, and students were sent home early because one of the boys involved threatened to “shoot up” the school.
Vallas said no one threatened to shoot, and that the Wednesday fight was off school grounds.
Compass said the cause of Thursday’s fight is under investigation. One student had a seizure after the incident, but did not appear to have been affected by the pepper spray, Compass said.