LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Officers with the Clark County School District Police Department used pepper spray to break up a fight at a high school Tuesday. This marks the third fight in less than a week that had to be broken up with the use of pepper spray.
On Tuesday, Palo Verde High School Principal Lisa Schumacher sent a note to families telling them there was an “altercation” at the school. CCSDPD attempted to break up the fight and de-escalate the situation.
According to the note, the officer warned students that pepper spray would be used if they did not stop fighting. When the fight continued, police were forced to use the spray.
Several students who were in the area could have been affected and were provided with treatment by medical staff.
Schumacher noted that students should comply when directed to disperse and “avoid participating by observation.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 20, CCSDPD used pepper spray to break up what was called a “large fight” at Las Vegas High School. Both students and adults were sprayed during the incident.
8 News Now spoke with students who said the fight happened during the first lunch period of the day. Students said that while they had seen a few fights on campus, Wednesday’s fight was much more intense.
“I feel like there have been more fights than usual this year,” a student told 8 News Now.
Then, on Friday, Sept. 22, a fight broke out at Desert Pines High School after a football game while 8 News Now was covering the event as part of Game of the Week.
After Arbor View won the game in double overtime, 8 News Now witnessed a few players punching each other after shaking hands. That’s when people started running onto the field from the stands.
A bystander told 8 News Now that officers with the Clark County School District Police Department used pepper spray to break up the fight.
Clark County School District data shows there has been a decline in officers deploying pepper spray over the past few years. In the 2019-2020 school year, officers used pepper spray 30 times and a taser six times.
Skipping the pandemic year, in 2021-2022 pepper spray was used 52 times and a taser four times. Now, in the 2022-2023 school year, data, which is not fully complete, shows officers deployed pepper spray 8 times and a taser twice.
CCSDPD Chief Mike Blackeye testified before Nevada lawmakers on March 22. He said his officers are being trained to decrease pepper spray usage
Statement from Palo Verde Principal
Dear Palo Verde High School families,
This is Principal Lisa Schumacher. As always, we want to keep you informed of important matters that take place at our school and I regret the need to share news of this kind.
Today we had a situation where students were involved in an altercation. CCSD Police attempted to break up the fight and deescalate the situation and disperse the crowd.
When the officer could not separate the students, they were warned that pepper spray would be utilized. The fight continued and police were forced to use the spray. As a result, several students who were in the immediate area were possibly affected and provided with treatment by medical staff as an additional precaution.
This is an important reminder that all students should comply when directed to disperse and to please avoid participating by observation.
If you have any further questions about your child, please feel free to contact our administration at 702-799-1450.
Lisa Schumacher, Principal
Palo Verde High School