Nine Kids Hit With Pepper Spray at Chicago School, Sent to Hospitals

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 4:41 PM

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June 19, 2013 - Nine children were hospitalized after being hit with pepper spray late this afternoon, reports WBBM 780 AM. The incident occurred inside a classroom of the Ruben Salazar Elementary Bilingual Center, part of the Chicago Public School system. The school is located at 160 West Wendell Street (map).

WGN reports that "a female student discharged pepper spray." The Chicago Tribune reports that the student "brought the pepper spray to school and at some point took the spray out in one of the classrooms. The spray discharged and nine students were overcome by the fumes."

"One student was taken in fair-to-serious condition and five others in good condition to Lurie Children's Hospital," says the Tribune. "Three more children were also taken in good condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to Fire Media."

Salazar serves children in pre-school through 8th grade. The student enrollment is approximately 430.

This is not the first time
that school children in Chicago have been hit with pepper spray. In January, seven children hospitalized when a student sprayed pepper spray in a school lunchroom at a South Side elementary school (CBS Chicago).

Pepper can injure in forms other than spray, however. In May, reports Complex.com, three cafeteria workers at Highland Park High School in Chicago were hospitalized "after a sneaky, yet short-sighted teenager mixed extremely potent hot sauce with the cafeteria's marinara supply." The fumes from the resulting hot sauce "were so strong that the workers had to be hospitalized."

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