Third-Grader Fires Pepper Spray at School

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(Memphis)  A third grader unleashed a can of pepper spray in the middle of school. Parents picking up their children at Whitney Elementary school Thursday afternoon got a letter telling them what happened.

“As a result some students became ill because of the fumes and staff called 911,” Parent Catherine Hinson read.

Hinson said she was more mad than shocked.

“Especially with my daughter being asthmatic and nobody gave me a phone call. I will be talking to the principal tomorrow.”

Police say a 10-year-old found the pepper spray on his way to school. They said he put it in his pocket, and then at lunch time in the middle of the cafeteria he took it out and sprayed it.

“I am scared because my child is right here,” parent Maria Terrazas said.

Several students were injured. Police said 10 of them had to be transported to various doctors and hospitals. Six more had mild exposure and were treated at the school.

According to medical websites " when a person is sprayed with pepper spray their eyes clamp shut... causing temporary blindness. There may also be an incontrollable fit of coughing. Although the
recipient can breathe enough to stay alive, the experience can be extremely debilitating."

The 10-year-old told police he didn't intentionally try to the other children at his school so he isn't facing criminal charges.

The school district said he does face expulsion.