On Wednesday, the superintendent provided an update stating that the school’s principal has detained two students who admitted to being directly involved in spraying pepper spray in the girls’ restroom.
“Because of the extremely serious nature of this action, disciplinary due process procedures will be rendered,” said Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack, who assured the school community that any threat has been neutralized.
BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Beech Grove High School was evacuated after more than 20 staff members and students were injured after a reported chemical spill on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, 12 staff members and nine students reported irritation in their throat after a white, hazy-like cloud was reported in a girls bathroom.
The entire school was evacuated within minutes, the school said.
Firefighters searched the school and the bathrooms but could find no residue. At this time, authorities are unsure what caused the reported smoke cloud in the bathroom.
The fire department said all the injuries were “slight” with all 21 complaining of throat irritants, such as a slight itch and a raspy feeling in their throat. No one was transported to a hosptial and all were treated on scene.
Students were sent home after the evacuation and all events scheduled for after school hours were canceled. The school will be cleaned thoroughly and class will resume tomorrow, the school said.
“At this time, we really have no idea what was deployed inside the bathroom,” said IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith.
Beech Grove High School evacuated students to a nearby community center and to the elementary schoool where buses were called to take the students homes.
Parents had been notified about the evacuation and the students being sent home, the school said.
The school will be reviewing security footage and investigating the incident to try and gain a better idea of what occurred inside the restroom.
“A disruption of the school day like what was experienced today is unacceptable and we will work tirelessly to ensure that the cause of the incident is uncovered and appropriate consequences are rendered,” said Beech Grove Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack.
Fire crews are unclear what caused the reported incident due to no meter readings being found while crews searched the school. No evidence of a chemical spill was found on any surfaces.
An onsite physician advised any students or staff at Beech Grove High School who experience throat irritation to avoid any smoke, vapes or tobacco for the rest of the day and to get fresh air and stay in well-ventilated areas.
Anyone who has difficulty breathing, chest pain or worsening discomfort is advised to seek emergency aid or call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.
“I am extremely proud of the incredible response by our law enforcement, fire department, and first responders during this very active event,” Hammack said. “Additionally, the BGHS students, teachers, and staff as well as our colleagues at Hornet Park and the Beech Grove Community Center were nothing but extraordinary. Thankfully, a potentially frightening event ended with a positive and safe outcome.”