Two teen girls arrested in accidental pepper spray discharge

This entry was posted by Rob on Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 at

Two 14-year-old girls from Westover Middle School have been charged with possessing a weapon on campus and simple assault after a canister of pepper spray discharged in a classroom this past Monday in Fayetteville, NC.

A teacher was taken to the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for treatment and thirteen students received medical attention at the school. None of the injuries sustained were serious.

The report states that a key chain pepper spray was accidentally discharged while one of the girls was looking for something in the other girl’s purse.

Now this was not criminal mischief. It would be one thing if this was a smart ass punk deliberately spraying a classroom with pepper spray as a prank. Then go ahead and charge the kid with the misdemeanor charges that these girls are facing. Expel them, charge them with a crime, no problem.

Unless this story gets clarified that there was malicious intent, which seems unlikely, basically we have a 14-year-old girl, getting in trouble for having a personal protection device.

Now if this girl pulled out the pepper spray during a Columbine or Virginia Tech type incident and disabled a crazed shooter before a rampage, she’d be a hero. But no one took Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold or Seung-Hui Cho down before it was too late.

If this girl was walking home from school and got attacked by a rapist or kidnapper and was able to defend herself and disable a sex offender long enough to get arrested, she’d be a hero.

I bet she doesn’t carry pepper spray now, and if her, her friend, or any other student gets assaulted and is unarmed, I hope there is a teacher close enough to help out. Or the 0.01% chance there is a cop standing on the same corner, yea right.

Sure this was an unfortunate incident, and it sucks that a teacher and a over a dozen students caught a minuscule whiff of OC spray, but does it really warrant criminal charges? The one girl is being charged with simple assault on the teacher. Come on now.

What I would rather see is the school and local police use this as a learning opportunity and do some training classes and institute some personal protection instruction. Teach them something useful for once.

Pepper spray is not the bad guy, but basically they are making this teenage girl one. That’s as bad as blaming a Taser (inanimate object) instead of a poorly trained police officer. We have thousands of well-trained cops out there and hear nothing about their good deeds, just the small percentage of bad cases. Over and over again. After hearing the media dwell on the same case 20 times, you’d think there were 20 separate incidents, not just the one.

I understand the feeble attempts at the Zero-Tolerance policies in school, but seriously… who are the ones following the rules? Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold or Seung-Hui Cho? Um… no, the dangerous criminal psychopaths disregard what ever rules you have posted on the wall.

I’m all for punishing the first punk who pulls out the spray during a silly argument with another student and does something stupid in the hallway. But I bet if students thought there might be some resistance if one of them gets the bright idea to bring an assault rifle to school and go postal, perhaps less incidents would occur? I don’t know.

I mean the police are several minutes away on a good day, and that elderly security guard armed with a walkie-talkie and a clipboard is about useless. Sorry Gramps, you mind as well be a Walmart greeter.

I wonder what the death count would have been if a dozen students pulled out a pepper spray and hosed down Harris, Klebold or Cho before they got on a roll? Boo hoo if the teacher catches a whiff, better than catching a bullet to the chest.

I had a post a while ago, 300 Reasons to Learn to Defend Yourself. It talked about how back in the day, parents actually taught their children how to defend themselves, their land, and their country. Responsibility and duty was actually passed down from generation to generation. Amazing concept.

I remember back when I was in the military and we were all learning how to fire an M-16 in boot camp. Guess who already had a leg up on the training? The city folk losers that ran around playing with cap guns, or the hard working country boys whose fathers taught them how to hunt, shoot and handle firearms at an early age?

Sure we all eventually learned, but it is always nice to have a head start and a slight edge.

Everyone wants to complain about the youth of America, but no one wants to take any responsibility for them. Not that the grownups in the political or financial sectors are setting a good example lately…

I think punishing these two teenagers is sending the wrong message.

Before someone goes all liberal on me, again, I’m not talking about arming a bunch of kids and letting them duke it out, or spray it out on a whim. Children or teenagers can be responsibly taught incremental self defense concepts over the course of their entire schooling. I’d see no problem with a responsible 14-year-old girl carrying a key chain pepper spray after being taught how, when and why to use it. Maybe that pedophile hiding in the bushes might think twice if he thought the girl was going to inflict some serious pain if he tried anything.

Sigh, Leonidas would be sad. (If you are missing that reference, you needed to read the 300 Reasons to Learn to Defend Yourself.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Don’t cry, it’s only Pepper Spray.

(OK, you might cry a little, but you aren’t going to die)

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2 Responses to “Two teen girls arrested in accidental pepper spray discharge”

  1. I’ll agree with you all the way on this one. Unless there is some evidence of malice aforethought, this was just an unfortunate accident and should be treated as such.

    Hey, I’ve got an 8-year-old daughter growing up in this nasty old world. You’d better believe I want her to know how to defend herself and have the correct tools with which to do it!

  2. Ken Potter

    Good article. I have four daughters (all grown now) and all of them had pepper spray starting at a responsible age. My granddaughter also now has one and is not afraid to use it.


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