One student was taken to the hospital and a bus driver and about 40 other students were given medical care at a Perry County school after pepper spray was dispersed by a child.
“An elementary student found a keychain canister of pepper spray, not in their home, before boarding school bus No. 20 this morning,” said Superintendent Andy Comstock. “The student did disperse the pepper spray as the school bus arrived on campus around 7:28 a.m., affecting the driver and students.”
All of the parents of the students on the bus have been contacted, and some students were picked up by parents. Nurse Yvonne Spears characterized all of the injuries as minor; one child was taken to the local emergency room by their parents to be evaluated.
Spears said that six children experienced either respiratory issues or itching following the incident. None of the students or driver were directly sprayed with the pepper spray. Students were washed at the nurse’s offices and many changed clothes before going to class.
“This was a case of a curious child who had no malicious intent,” Comstock said. “The child found the pepper spray, dispersed it onto the floor on the school bus, the windows were up, and the fumes affected everyone on the bus. The child was not trying to hurt anyone, but we have taken disciplinary action because this is a serious matter. The student is very upset that their action caused pain for their friends and bus driver.
“Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in this incident, and our driver and staff acted quickly to help our children.”