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Students hospitalized after pepper spray incident at a Pine Bluff junior high school

Three students have been rushed to the hospital with 17 others sent home early after the school resource officer at Jack Robey Junior High School discharged pepper spray Thursday afternoon, FOX16 has learned.
The scene at Jack Robey Junior High School where students were hospitalized after a security guard discharged pepper spray Thursday afternoon.
The scene at Jack Robey Junior High School where students were hospitalized after a security guard discharged pepper spray Thursday afternoon.
PINE BLUFF, AR - Pine Bluff police and school leaders will meet next week to determine the fate of a school resource officer who pepper sprayed students to get them to clear the hallway.  Faith Fourney, a student at the school, claims to have witnessed a school resource officer spray.

"Not knowing he was going to spray it I walked straight into it," Forney said.

Not only did she inhale it, but so did several other students. Three went to the hospital, and seventeen others left early.

"Everybody started hollering and we had people just gagging and throwing up and everything and I'm like what's going on?" Forney said.

Superintendent Jerry Payne confirmed a school resource officer did spray and said he did it to force students inside classrooms.  Payne said the students took too long to get to class, so the officer pointed the spray toward the ground, not at students.

"You could have at least said something about keep it moving. But spraying mace? He took it too far with that," said Forney.

Forney described the chaos afterward. Students like her with breathing problems rushed outside.  Parents and emergency crews took over the campus. It's an incident Forney says could have been avoided.

"He really doesn't need to be there because we could have been laying out somewhere to be honest," said Forney.

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