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Students Sprayed With Pepper Spray At South Side School

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UPDATED: 1/16/2013 – 4:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Seven children were taken to hospitals from a South Side elementary school Wednesday morning after a student sprayed pepper spray in a school lunchroom.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports police said school officials questioned the 10-year-old boy behind the attack, which left many parents concerned.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports Chicago Public Schools officials said the student brought an unidentified substance to Edward Beasley Elementary Magnet Academic Center in his backpack, but police and the Fire Department identified the substance as pepper spray.

Around 9:20 a.m., five ambulances were called to the school at 5255 S. State St., after several students were sprayed. CPS officials said seven children were taken to nearby hospitals as a precaution after they were sprayed.

The student responsible was removed from the premises, and parents of the students affected were notified immediately.

Beasley parent Stanley King Jr. said, when he arrived at the school, he simply was told “it was a wild day today.”

Parents came to school early to pick up their children.

“Some kids, somebody was up here spraying pepper spray. I had no idea of it. I was at work, and I got off at 1 o’clock this afternoon, so my wife told me it’s the best thing to come up here and get my son,” King said.

The school sent letters home with students explaining what happened, and calling it an isolated incident.

They also sent robocalls to students’ homes.

Other parents tried to find out early if their child was affected.

“I called up here, and they said ‘if you weren’t called, then you kid wasn’t affected by it,’ and hung up,” Chrishon Collins said.

Rickesha Davis said, “I’m very concerned, because it was a lot of second graders that got sprayed, and I have a second grader that goes here.”

Luckily for Davis, her child was not affected, because they were still on the way to school at the time.