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Students injured by pepper spray at South Side elementary school

Updated: September 18, 2013 6:11PM



More than 25 people, mostly children, were hospitalized after a student discharged pepper spray at a Deering neighborhood elementary school Wednesday afternoon on the South Side.

A student brought pepper spray to Marsh Elementary School in the 9800 block of South Exchange Avenue that discharged about 1 p.m., prompting a hazardous materials response, authorities said.

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said the incident occurred in the cafeteria and affected 8th-graders.

A Marsh student inadvertently discharged the spray and some students complained of headaches, according to CPS, which said all parents were notified.

Of the 26 people injured, three were in fair-to-serious condition and 23 were in good condition, according to Fire Media Affairs. They were taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital, Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, South Shore Hospital, and the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

“This was an unfortunate accident and school officials took the appropriate steps to ensure the well-being of all students,” CPS spokeswoman Keiana Barrett said in a statement.

“All faculty and staff, parents and students will be reminded that pepper spray is prohibited on school grounds. The safety of our children is one of CPS’s top priorities, and we are closely monitoring the situation,” she said.

At least one student was detained by officers, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.



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