Earlier this week, eight children were “accidentally” pepper-sprayed in their school. While such incidents aren’t entirely uncommon, this time the “perpetrator” was actually a policeman. If you think this was an isolated incident, you would be wrong.
One would consider a school to be one of the safest places for children, and that cops have sworn to protect those who are helpless and in need of assistance. But, unfortunately, two separate incidents in the United Kingdom have proven that you cannot completely trust these two institutions to fully safeguard the interests and personal safety of your kids.
On Wednesday, eight children were pepper-sprayed at Ysgol Gymraeg Gilfach Fargoed primary school in Wales. The pepper-spray, a non-lethal but nasty irritant, originated from a canister that police routinely throw at mobs to disperse them. The alarming incident occurred when a rather clumsy and haphazard police officer accidentally used a live canister of pepper-spray, instead of a fake canister containing water.
The officer sprayed the canister in the classroom during the demonstration to pupils. Though the police apologized profusely, pupils aged 4 to 5-years-old, suffered eye irritation from being struck by the self-defense spray containing Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide (PAVA), reported the Independent. Fortunately for the erring officer and the police department, none of the parents are filing any charges.
Speaking about the incident, one parent said, “My son was in the class when the pepper spray was released. We had a phone call from the school to say it had happened. I’m not happy about it, but at the same time, it seems to be a genuine mistake.”
She added that she was monitoring her son but that he seemed to be doing okay. Though the school quickly took over the rather botched up demonstration, the staff confirmed that none of the children suffered much and no special medical attention was needed, reported the Daily Mail.
But taking a serious note of the same, the Gwent Police have agreed to suspend any more live demonstrations.
peaking about the same, a spokesperson for the precinct said, “Further inquiries into the error are now being undertaken, and a result of the incident school liaison officers will no longer be taking any demonstration (mock) PAVA spray into schools.”
What’s shocking is that the event comes close on the heels of a similar incident late last month, where a 7-year-old girl had a close encounter with death but was lucky to escape with just a split lip. She suffered only a minor injury despite a live round of ammunition being fired accidentally at the headquarters of the Nottinghamshire Police force.
Though the officers involved have been taken off firearms duties, these incidents surely raise questions about the safety of kids when they are in presence of police officers.
[Image Credit | Wikipedia]