Pepper spray was released in the halls of Abbotsford Senior Secondary School today (Thursday) for the second time in one week.
Last week, a 17-year-old student was charged with mischief, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault with a weapon, after releasing pepper spray in the atrium of Abbotsford Senior Secondary School.
Today, shortly before noon, pepper spray was once again released in a common area of the school.
Dave Stephen, communications manager for the school district, said the school was put into “soft lockdown” while students were kept out of the area where the spray had been released and the school’s emergency fan system was turned on.
Police ambulance and fire services were called. No students required medical treatment and police are investigating.
Stephen said the two incidents at Abbotsford Senior are a great concern and “troublesome for all the schools.”
“We are concerned that we would have two incidents in a week, especially after last week when the culprit was identified and charges laid.”
He said administration is currently viewing it as a copycat incident, and is continuing to investigate.
Const. Paul Walker said the school is co-operating with the investigation and if a suspect is identified they could face charges. Walker said that as no one was injured, charges would likely be for mischief.
“It’s still an incident that is very concerning, especially for the school system.”
After last week’s incident, a handful of students had asthmatic reactions after the student released the pepper spray during the lunch break. One student was taken to hospital for decontamination, but no students sustained any injuries.
The school contacted Abbotsford Police and ambulance, and the suspect was arrested.
In addition to facing charges, the student has been suspended and will go to the district’s board of review within weeks to discuss the potential for further disciplinary action.
Today, a letter is being sent out to parents of students at Abbotsford Senior, notifying them of what occured.
Stephen said that administrators at schools are being “extra vigilant” about students potentially carrying in pepper spray.