Updated 4:30 pm: The fight that resulted in this morning's pepper-spray incident took place between two female students at Narbonne High, according to an L.A. Unified statement. It broke out at 10 a.m. during the morning nutrition break, according to the statement. One of the fighting students had fallen and was surrounded by a large crowd. The crowd didn't listen to a Los Angeles School Police Officer's command to disperse.
"Concerned for the safety of the fallen student and for the officer’s own safety, the officer dispensed a short burst of pepper spray into the air to disperse the crowd," the district statement said. "The dispensing of the pepper spray allowed the officer to come to the aid of the fallen student and break up the fight."
The two female students have been cited for fighting. Another student, a 16-year-old male, was taken to the hospital for lingering respiratory problems.
The Los Angeles School Police is investigating the incident, which is considered a "use-of-force incident," per official department policy. The school principal will be sending parents a letter about the incident and counselors will be at the school Friday in case they are needed.
Update 3:20 pm: The number of those treated for injuries related to this morning's pepper-spraying incident at Narbonne High school has reportedly reached 47, according to L.A. Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
The station says both a fire department and LAUSD spokesperson told them students were sprayed by school police when a fight on campus got out of control.
12:14 pm: Paramedics treated about two dozen people today at Narbonne High School in the Harbor City area for exposure to pepper spray.
Los Angeles Fire Dept. spokesman Brian Humphrey explained what happened at the 3,400 student body campus.
“The call came shortly before 10:20 a.m. this morning bringing the Los Angeles firefighters to the campus of Narbonne High School, home of the Gauchos," said Humphrey. "There was reportedly a fight on campus handled by campus security.There was a release of pepper spray, which impacted 25 people on the police, where police report that there had been no serious illness or injuries as a result of the release.”
There’s no word yet if the pepper spray release was intentional or accidental.