[UPDATE] Students Pepper-Sprayed at School

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

UPDATE 03-04-2010 at 5:45pm by Jerry Askin

The Gadsden County School Board is speaking out after a parent claims she was never notified that her son was pepper sprayed by a school resource officer until after he got home from school on Thursday afternoon.

Gadsden County school board officials say the pepper spray was used by a resource officer at Shanks Middle School to break up a large fight, but never did the officer intentionally point the spray in any of the student's faces. Now, school board officials want to tell their side of the story.

Shanks Middle School principal Juanita Ellis says around 7:30 Thursday morning, a fight broke out in the gym involving two students. She say the resource officer sprayed pepper spray in the air to difuse the situation and control the many students.

The principal says everyone who came in contact with the pepper spray was sent to the nurse's office shortly after. The principal showed us documentation that supports the claim that school officials contacted the parents of all 26 students involved.

The Superintendent's Office released this statement to WCTV saying, "Our preliminary investigation reveals that the security officer acted in due diligence. Our investigation has been launced to ensure that proper protocol was followed."

The principal at Shanks Middle School says she want parents to know that safety of children is a priority and the school will do what's necessary to keep children safe.

School board officials say the pepper spray is permitted to be used in times like these when there's a threat of bodily injury. ______________________________________________________
UPDATE by Amy Long

A Gadsden County mom is outraged when her son and nephew tell her they were pepper sprayed at school.

The Gadsden County superintendent's office was able to confirm that about 18 kids were pepper sprayed when a fight broke out at James A. Shanks Middle School in Quincy Thursday.

Jacquelyn Smith says she didn't hear about the pepper spray until her 11-year-old son and 13-year-old nephew came home from school. Smith says the boys eyes were red and irritated- her son had to rinse his eyes out again at home.

The Gadsden County Superintendent's Office says Shanks Middle School students were all running towards a fight and that's when pepper spray was used to diffuse the situation

The school board also says they attempted to to contact all of the parents.

Smith says she never got that call and now, she wants answers.
"The kids were pepper sprayed. I didn't get any call at all.This happened early in the morning like maybe around 8 o'clock and the first time I'm hearing about it is after 3pm? I'm not hearing about it. According to them he walks, I guess he blew his whistle and then just started spraying." says Jacquelyn Smith,

Jacovy Smith, a 6th grade student at Shanks Middle School, adds, "We all had went to our first period class and they told us to come to the office, every one who got pepper sprayed come to the office. and the clinic lady had rinsed our eye out and told us to go back to class."

Gadsden County Schools says every one who came in contact with the spray was sent to the nurses office and says the principal attempted to get in touch with all the parents.

The school board also say a security guard is permitted to use the spray when there's a threat of bodily injury.

The boys did tell me that not only were they not involved in the fight- they claim they were just sitting in the area when the spray was released.

Jacquelyn Smith says she she started calling Shanks Middle around 4pm on Thursday and has yet to hear a response.

------------------------------------------------------------

Quincy, FL - Shaia Beckwith-James with the Superintendent’s Office has confirmed that at least 18 students were pepper sprayed during an incident at James A. Shanks Middle School today(3-3).

She says the students were all running towards a fight and were pepper sprayed to diffuse the situation.

Shaia also says the principal attempted to contact all of the students' parents. Shaia adds that all of the students were treated by a registered nurse on campus.

WCTV was contacted by a parent who had alerted us of the altercation and expressed disappointment at not being contacted by school administrators.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by BCO Location: Somewhere County on Mar 14, 2011 at 03:10 PM
    Whatever.....
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM
    I live in Gadsden County. I grew up in Leon County. A quality education system is a valuable asset for this entire community and it is a much better means of income. You want true economic development here, put the money into the educations system instead of all these attorneys’ pocket . All this negativism does nothing except lower your property value, rob the community's funding and make the attorney’s richer. I think it is very financially destructive. Others are deliberately using it to be destructive so they can be profitable. Let’s face it, the only people that benefit from all this negativism are the attorney. It is our money, let use it on something that will increase our property values not lower it. I am not asking for more money. I am not talking about raising taxes. I am talking about conserving the funding we have and stop giving it away to every attorney in a 50 mile radius. Negative Press is not good for your property values or mine. Positive press is. So be positive
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    TO: STARTING TO SEE THE TRUE PICTURE, IF YOU HAVE EVER LIVE IN GADSDEN COUNTY YOU WOULD KNOW THE TRUE PICTURE. WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT SOMETHING, YOU SHOULD REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, I LIVED IN QUINCY FOR MANY YEARS AS A CHILD AND AS AN ADULT OVER A SPAN OF 50 YEARS. WHEN YOU SEE HOW THE TRANSITION THAT THE BLACK POPULATION MADE FROM BEING A RESPECTED RACE TO THAT OF LIVING OF THE SYSTEMS AND USING THEIR OWN CHILDREN AS A MEANS OF INCOME, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE SO MANY THAT SPEAK OUT ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. IT'S NOT FAIR OR RIGHT, BUT IT IS TRUE. THESE CHILDREN ARE BEING RAISED IN A SINGLE PARENT HOME ON VERY LITTLE MONEY AND LEFT TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES, NOW IF YOU WANT TO SEND SO MONEY TO HELP THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, BE MY GUEST, GOD KNOWS THEY NEED IT ALONG WITH QUALIFIED TEACHERS. AFTER YOU HAVE LIVED THERE FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE, YOU WOULD KNOW.
  • by Starting to see the true picture. on Mar 12, 2011 at 07:09 AM
    The last example I saw of this was in the Horse Hope Case. Thousands, maybe millions of community funding and resources were spent on the Investigation and prosecution of an Animal Neglect Case Involving 1 75yr old horse. The costly litigation for that case was fuel in these blogs. In the end, the horse die, the judge threw the case out, and 49 Gadsden County School Personnel lost their jobs due to lack of funding. It was deliberate destruction. I don't have doubt in my mind about it. They don't want these children to have an education, so they are going to deliberately bankrupt their funding. That is what they are doing.
  • by Starting to see the true picture on Mar 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM
    I am white. There is a deliberate effort to destroy the Quincy education System. Education has power and they don't want these children to get that power. Fights happen all the time, in every school. When it happens in Quincy, the attacks from these Blogs are like nothing I have ever seen. The things said about these children and their mothers are unbelievably horrible. Never have I witness that being done to Leon County Schools after a fight had broken out. This is just wrong. I am a white Republican, every child in America deserves and education. You have no right to fuel a debate for the purpose of robbing funding by promoting litigation and that is exactly what you are doing. It is a deliberate effort to destroy their education System by bankrupting it. You don’t want these children to advance. You are deliberately in sighting these arguments by attacking and trying to provoke a fight. What I find extraordinary is the amounts of self control and grace these people have by not allowing you to provoke them.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2011 at 06:23 PM
    To: Missy Location: Alabama on Mar 10, 2011 at 08:48 AM. You are commenting as though everyone who post "Anon" is the same person when you don't know. Everyone has the right to post whatever they want, whatever that might be, yeah, some have a problem with racial remarks, but I have seen a lot of posts by the black race who are just as racist, if not more racist than anyone other race. And to "Black African American" I didn't see anything posted that was in any way racial other than the post made by BCS about someone putting their kids in a car and drowning them, then blaming it on two black men. Give me a break, some people will use anything that happens to them as a way to blame the white race for everything that has happened to them, learn some history and you will see that it was African who were selling other Africans as slaves. If you will look around, youll see there is only one race, everyone is a hybrid, even you.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2011 at 04:57 PM
    @: Anonymous on Mar 10, 2011 at 08:48 AM, Everyone has the right to post their opinion even if you don't like it. That's why they have moderator's on this site. Kid's now days have run rampant and it is the parents who should be held responsible. 25 years ago there was no problems because there was corporal punishment in the school systems. When kids got into trouble, they were punished. Now all the parents want to do is blame someone else for the problems of their own kids. If you had read the update on this story you would have known that. And I am speaking of both black and white kids. Put a belt on their butts and they will straighten up, but most parents could care less what their child is doing as long as they don't bother them, until they get into trouble, then its everyone elses fault but the parent. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    @Anon last time i checked i was putting my own opinion in just like you and everybody else, and if you aint the one that said that lil racial comment then you shouldnt be responding back to mine. i know exactly what this is about but i overlooked all that and went straight too that person's comment for a reason
  • by Missy Location: Alabama on Mar 10, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    I agree with *Black African American that was kind of racist what you said. And it has nothing to do with race so you shouldnt have said what you said. Any black person would get offended from what you said *Anon. And you are right these kids do need discipline(black and white). Mothers should pay more attention to their kids(black and white) and teach them right from wrong and how to tell the truth..!!!
  • by Hwy 20 Resident on Mar 9, 2011 at 10:13 AM
    What's so sad about this whole thing is kids learn to lie at a very early age by those who are claim to be a parent and then told it's okay to lie. These kids wouldn't know the truth if it hit them in the face. I think the school and it's resource officers and who ever else they hired did what they were trained to do. No one got hurt or suffered any permanent damage, no more so if the were actually disciplined.
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