South Carolina

Private security firm fired after pepper spray incident at SC high school

North High/Middle School
North High/Middle School Google Earth street view

The Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 on Friday fired the private security firm it had used to provide security at North High/Middle School after an incident involving pepper spray the day earlier.

Seven students were exposed to pepper spray by the security officer assigned to the school.

“We were very clear that we did not agree with the actions of the security officer and determined that it is in our best interest to terminate the services of DTH,” Bill Clark, spokesman for the school district, said in a news release.

The unnamed security officer sprayed a student with pepper spray twice, once after observing an exchange between a school administrator and the student and again after following the student into the school’s Career Center. Other students in the Career Center were also exposed to the pepper spray, the district said.

According to reports on Thursday afternoon, the exchange between a school official and the student arose from music playing on a cell phone and some apparent difficulty in turning it off.

After the pepper spray was discharged, law enforcement and EMS services were called to the school and the school was locked down to prevent other students from being exposed to the pepper spray, the district said.

All students involved in the incident were able to return to school on Friday, the district said.

DTH Protective Services is a private firm headquartered in Orangeburg.

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