A member of the DeSoto Independent School District is under fire for allegedly firing pepper-ball pellets at students in order to stop an ongoing brawl, reported NBC DFW.
DeSoto ISD said the altercation started at DeSoto High School during a violent fight in the cafeteria that had continued to escalate.
A video from a mobile phone captured on Friday appeared to show campus security shooting pepper spray at students. Other similar videos were available on social media.
“What you saw in the video was a pepper spray device,” Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones, DeSoto ISD media spokesperson, explained. “Those are allowable. There are certain restrictions about how they can be used. We were in alignment with the permitted use of those.”
Blackmon-Jones said the campus security followed protocol by not using pepper spray as their first method of handling the situation.
“There were several opportunities and instances in which the security guard in question made several directives asking the kids to comply,” she explained.
The district did not say whether or not any disciplinary action would be taken against either campus security or the students involved in the altercation.
DeSoto ISD said it wanted to use the incident as a teachable moment for its students to develop alternatives to conflict resolution.
“Despite these realities, we want to reiterate that the actions of a few are not reflective of the overall character and quality of our student body,” the statement read.
“The district is in the process of addressing the matter and is limited in what it can offer regarding resolution due to personnel privacy laws,” the district continued. “As a result, the district has issued a communication to parents and staff regarding the matter and is working with administrators to address the matter with staff via training and education.”