About 20 students pepper sprayed at San Bernardino middle school amid fights – San Bernardino Sun

About 20 students came into contact with pepper spray used by school security personnel at Del Vallejo Middle School & STEAM Academy in San Bernardino on Thursday afternoon, April 28, after multiple fights broke out, the school district said.

District officials said that of the 20 students who came into indirect contact with the pepper spray, eight were taken to the nurse’s office for treatment of eye irritation.

Krista Cooper of San Bernardino said that her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend and his sister were all pepper sprayed in the hallway at about 1:28 p.m. when a large group of students rushed down the hallway to witness a fight.

The use of pepper spray by school security angered Cooper, who said the incident was an example of an apparently “out of control” culture of fighting at the school that has dominated the semester.

Cooper said her daughter and her friends were not among the large group going to the fight, but were caught in the middle of the rush. The incident made her “furious,” but she said it was not her family’s first encounter with the issue of fighting in the school.

“These are 6th, 7th and 8th graders who don’t even have the capacity to process half of the stuff they’re doing,” Cooper said. “They’re literally running a fight club out of this school.”

Multiple fights broke out at the school Thursday, said the San Bernardino City Unified School District in a statement.

“One of these alterations resulted in the use of pepper spray to disperse a large crowd and prevent serious injury to students and staff,” the district said in its statement. “About 20 students came into indirect contact with the pepper spray and of those eight were taken to the nurse’s office for treatment of eye irritation.”

Cooper picked up her daughter and her friends from the school and saw the eight students receiving medical attention, many of whom were using ice packs, had toilet paper on their faces and were crying, she said.

In addition to her daughter, Cooper has a son at the school who has been impacted by fights and bullying at the school since he was enrolled in January, she said.

The school was dismissed in staggered fashion to ensure a “safe and calm” dismissal, the district said. Additional district police presence was expected at the school Friday to ensure an orderly dismissal, the district said.

“We are glad to report that (Thursday’s) dismissal went without incident,” the School District said.

The San Bernardino City Unified District Police could not be immediately reached for comment.

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