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Context: In-School Use Of Pepper Spray On Students

image from 1.bp.blogspot.comIt's worth remembering that it's not just protesters and bargain-hunters who get pepper-sprayed, and not just traditional law enforcement who's gotten geared up with increasingly fearsome equipment over the past decade. Some of the same things are happening on school campuses, too.  There were a few days during the reporting on my book about Locke High School when I came awfully close to getting myself pepper-sprayed.  One of the key events during 2009, the first year of the turnaround effort involved the use of pepper spray by security guards on a student, and I thought maybe I would get sprayed to see what it was like.  I'd seen the incident firsthand, they spray of liquid and its impact on one of the biggest, most fearsome kids on campus.  And pepper spray had been used during the so-called riot on campus in 2008 witnessed by the LA Times' Howard Blume, and at other high school melees around Los Angeles.  The security guards at Locke sometimes leafed through catalogs full of pepper spray gear -- the things you might have seen riot police holding that look like paintball guns and don't require close contact to be employed.  Have you ever seen kids get sprayed, or come across stories about its use on school campuses?  I'll check around and let you know what I find.  Image via 


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Yes, a student was pepper sprayed or Mace-ed outside my classroom in Texas in '04-'05. I didn't know until a student in my class opened the door to go to the restroom. Students were complaining of stinging eyes within moments. As far as I remember the student was on drugs and resisting the security guards.

"The Milwaukee Public Schools do not allow its security staff (civilians
with no arrest powers) to carry or use pepper spray. The local police do
not include or exclude students in their use of force police. No
difference in treatment by police."

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