Muskegon Catholic Central: Pepper spray prompted evacuation

Muskegon Catholic Central
Two people in hazmat suits enter Muskegon Catholic Central after reports of an irritant leak. (May 23, 2017)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — School officials say that Muskegon Catholic Central High School was evacuated last week because a student accidentally sprayed some pepper spray inside.

The school was cleared out on May 23 and 18 students and staff member were checked out at the hospital after experiencing some trouble breathing. A hazmat team checked the school for harmful substances, but didn’t find anything, the school said.

Emergency crews at Muskegon Catholic Central High School, located at 1145 Laketon Avenue in Muskegon, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

The school administration says it investigated, checking surveillance cameras and speaking with students. They found that a student was carrying a canister of pepper spray on a key chain. While opening and closing the pepper spray’s lid while walking down the hall, the student accidentally sprayed a small amount.

School officials say they don’t think the student did it on purpose. Still, they’re working with authorities and the student’s parents to determine whether the student will face any consequences.