Central High students Maced after fire, fights - KCTV5

Central High students Maced after fire, fights

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Central High School students told KCTV5 that pepper spray was used on them Thursday afternoon after a fire and fights broke out at the school.

A fire was started in a trash can in first-floor bathroom about 1 p.m. Thursday, Kansas City School District spokesman Andre Riley said.

As a result, the school was evacuated. As students were milling around outside during the evacuation, punches were thrown and fights broke out.

"I got Maced in the eye," said student Montez Howlett. "I wasn't fighting. I just happened to be in that area where they were fighting and trying to get away."

Students said police and security officers Maced the crowd as an effort to gain control.

District officials said staff members and school resource officers were able to get the situation under control. Riley did not comment on using pepper spray on students.

Extra Kansas City police officers were on hand Thursday afternoon when classes dismissed to ensure there were no more issues.

The KCMSD high school is at 32nd Street and Indiana Avenue.

The school has had problems in the past with trash can fires. Fights during the 2009-2010 school year led to an off-campus shooting involving students in fall of 2009.

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