More police in the schools will make kids safer, right? That’s what a lot of people have been saying for years, but the evidence seems to tell a very different story.
Recently, several children as young as 4-years-old found themselves “accidentally” pepper sprayed by police officers from the Gwent Police Department during a visit to Gilfach Fargoed Elementary School, in Bargoed, Caerphilly county in Wales.
Well, it wasn’t exactly “pepper” spray, the new and improved “riot” spray is technically called “PAVA” (pelargonic acid vanillylamide) and has replaced CS spray in many places because it is deemed to be significantly more effective than regular pepper spray.
The less for the day was on the riot equipment used by the police force… Because that’s important for elementary school students to learn about, right?
Instead of demonstrating with a “fake” pepper spray canister, the officers discharged a real canister, just like they use on non-violent protesters and the like on the streets.
Eight students, four and five years old, were hit with the spray. The chief of the force said that he apologizes for the “error.”
While there is little question that this was an accident, it is hard to regard it as a simple error, when it is such a bizarre idea to spray a “fake” canister of pepper spray in the faces of children.
A spokesperson for the department said that “parents were contacted by a senior officer to explain what happened, discuss any concerns and offer our sincere apologies. Medical treatment wasn’t required on the day, however, parents were advised to seek medical attention if they had any concerns.
“Further enquiries into the error are now being undertaken and, as a result of yesterday’s incident, school liaison officers will no longer be taking any demonstration (mock) PAVA spray into schools.”