FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools sent a letter home for parents of South Side High School students on Tuesday, addressing an incident that took place on Monday involving a power outage and pepper spray.
According to the letter from South Side High School Principal Carlton Mable, a security guard did use pepper spray in an attempt to get a group of students to disperse. The letter claims that the students became loud and ignored instructions following a brief power outage. Mable writes that the guard did not target any students, but aimed the pepper spray at the floor.
The letter does state that some students may still have felt the effects of the pepper spray. Mable writes that the school is reviewing the incident and that they will “continue to work closely with our security personnel to make sure actions taken are in the best interest of students, staff and others in the building.”
The following is the full letter that was sent home to parents on Tuesday:
October 14, 2014
I am writing to let you know of a situation that occurred on Monday and to reassure you of our ongoing commitment to student safety and academic excellence.
As you may know, South Side experienced a temporary power outage during the lunch modules. Students initially handled the situation well, moving to and from classes as appropriate. Security personnel and administrators were in the hallways and the common areas throughout the building to ensure orderly passing periods. But after the third lunch module and about a half-hour without power, some students decided to stay in the commons area and refused to move on to their classes. Many became loud, despite instructions from staff members to go to class. In an attempt to get students to disperse, one of our security guards sprayed pepper spray onto the floor. No students were directly targeted or hit, but some may have felt the effects of the spray.
This action is not one that we expect to be taken routinely or lightly, and we are reviewing the decisions made during this incident. We will continue to work closely with our security personnel to make sure actions taken are in the best interest of students, staff and others in the building.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 467-2600.