SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — Seven students at North Surry High School were taken to a local hospital after a student apparently discharged a personal protection canister of Mace inside a classroom on Wednesday, prompting the school to evacuate a building.
Around 11 a.m., a student sprayed Mace on the wall of a classroom. Officials said the incident occurred during a transition of classes.
There were 25 students inside a classroom when the Mace canister was discharged around 11 a.m.
150 students were immediately evacuated from the classroom and taken to the auxiliary gym.
Seven students were transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County for further evaluation by health professionals.
“Five students were transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County for further evaluation by health professionals. Two students were taken to the hospital by their parents. A nurse is on campus, along with several community agencies, and central office administration in the event that other students feel the need to meet with a health professional or school administrators,” the school said in the statement.
A school resource officer was also exposed to the Mace.
Sheriff Graham Atkinson said they have determined this incident was not an accident.
Students were evacuated from one building and moved to another building while the scene was cleared.
North Carolina law permits persons who have not been convicted of a felony to possess mace in limited capacity for self-defense purposes; however the the Surry County Schools’ Student Code of Conduct prohibits the use or attempted use of mace, pepper spray, or similar products to harm a student or school personnel.
The matter is presently under investigation by both school administration and law enforcement officials.
As of 12:20 p.m., students had returned to class.
No charges have been filed.