Winter Garden, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County Fire Rescue says that several students were treated after a student deployed pepper spray on a school bus. Officials say that calls came in around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning regarding this incident.
An Orange County official confirmed that a seven-year-old student was given pepper spray for self-defense. Another student deployed the pepper spray, causing seven students to feel the effects. Firefighters say that the Independence Elementary School bus had over 40 students on board at the time.
Fox 35 reporter Holly Bristow spoke to Orange County Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Billy Richardson, who said that the seven students had a burning sensation their mouths and eyes. All seven were treated on scene.
Richardson also told Bristow that every kid that was on the bush was decontaminated, washing their hands and faces the best they could. Their backpacks and lunch boxes were put into plastic bags so they could be cleaned off before the children touched them again, as well.
Most of the children went to school in a different bus following the incident, but some parents opted to get their children after receiving a call from the principal about the incident.
The school bus was taken out of rotation so that it could be decontaminated, therefore ensuring that no residue from the pepper spray is remaining.
Orange County Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Billy Richardson says he does not believe the incident was malicious, but that the pepper spray was just being played and was probably discharged.
However, Holly Bristow checked out the Independence Elementary school handbook, which says this incident could land these students a 10-day in-school suspension or even expulsion.