JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two students of Young Kids in Motion Academy have been suspended after a 14-year-old girl used pepper spray on a 13-year-old boy during a fight on a bus, the school's principal told News4Jax on Monday.
Meltonia Wright, the school's principal, said it happened Thursday afternoon when the teenagers began fighting on a school bus that had about 50 students on board. Wright said the girl sprayed the boy and a bus attendant.
The fight was caught on cellphone video by other students.
"Being that it was an enclosed environment it kind of went through the whole bus," Wright said. "The kids started jumping off the bus through the emergency exits and the regular doors."
The bus driver told News4Jax he was forced to stop the bus in the middle of a road. When he walked back, he smelled the pepper spray and immediately went to Memorial Hospital, which was nearby. Investigators said doctors treated nine students.
Police officers arrested the 14-year-old girl. She was charged with battery.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said things could have been worse.
"She wreaked havoc by spraying the pepper spray because it could affect so many people including the driver," Jefferson said. "Had it hit the driver while the driver was driving and the bus was in motion, it could have shut their eyes and caused a crash."
Both Wright and Jefferson believe the bus driver handled the situation correctly.
Wright said the school is now checking students' purses and requiring clear backpacks for middle and high school students in an effort to prevent future incidents.