Sunday, December 8, 2019

Is Pepper Spray a Weapon?

At the December 3rd Special Called Board Meeting, a fair amount of time was spent discussing revisions to Board Policy JICI - Weapons.

If you are interested, watch the video-recording on the District's website (and on YouTube). Find the recording and advance to Item 5.23 at (31:43) on the video counter for the beginning of the discussion on JICI.

Clearly, the Board is afraid of guns on school grounds. That's why they already disarmed two employees of the Emergency Services Department.

The question of pepper spray came up. Is it a weapon? Or is it a defensive tool?

Or is it a tool that can be used as a "weapon" (in the eyes of some)?

One board member (well, sort of) is vehemently against guns but doesn't want to cause a student to feel unprotected off campus, if she or he carries pepper spray; for example, when walking home after leaving a school bus.

This is where the line needs to be clear. A gun is a weapon. Pepper spray is not a weapon.

If you catch a dose of pepper spray in your face, your skin will be irritated and your eyes will be irritated for, perhaps, 45 minutes, and, yes, it'll hurt. But you won't be injured, unless you fall down and hit your head or stumble out in front of a vehicle.

During discussion, a student was mentioned who had sprayed other student-passengers on a school bus. That was not a defensive use of pepper spray, unless s/he was being bullied or assaulted.

Revising JICI is like trying to get Jello to stick to a wall. The harder you try, the bigger mess you make.