Student Hospitalized After Pepper Spray Exposure

PASADENA, Calif. -- At least one girl was hospitalized and several students and adults were treated for dizziness or nausea at Wilson Middle School in Pasadena Tuesday when a student's pepper spray went off on campus, according to school and fire officials.

Paramedics and a hazardous-materials team were sent to the school early Tuesday afternoon at 300 Madre St., initially on a report that four workers who had been spraying weed killer developed breathing problems. When they arrived, they learned that a student's pepper spray was the source of the problem, according to Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department.

Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Edwin Diaz said all students were evacuated to the athletic field.

"Several students and adults experienced minor dizziness and nausea from exposure to the pepper spray, and were either treated and released or transported to local hospitals for treatment," Diaz said. "The school has been cleared for students to re-enter classrooms, and all after-school activities will proceed as planned."

Derderian said about 600 students were evacuated "out of an abundance of caution."

Four adults were assessed and refused further treatment, she said. The one girl who was hospitalized had a preexisting medical condition, and her problems were minor, Derderian said.

Eight other students complained of nausea and headaches, she said.

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