BARBERTON, Ohio -- Viral video shows students at Barberton High School getting pepper sprayed as part of a class assignment, which was completely voluntary.
Students were receiving a credential in the law and public safety course curriculum that is offered by the Ohio Department of Education, the Barberton School District said.
The video shows the students standing in a line, as one by one they are pepper sprayed; some of the students are seen screaming and jumping up and down.
Parents had to sign a waiver.
According to Blue Lives Matter, here is the explanation from Barberton's police chief, which was included in the waiver:
"On Friday, May 12, 2017, as part of our defensive tactics training that we have covered this year, I will introduce the use and effects of law enforcement OC “Pepper Spray” to the students. Each student will have the option to be swabbed or receive a quick “burst” to the facial area with this chemical agent. It will cause irritation and a burning sensation to the eyes and nasal area for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
This is a controlled and safe experience for the students and is completely voluntary."
The Barberton City School District released the following statement to FOX 8 News:
"On Friday May 12, 2017 as part of the Criminal Science Technology Career Tech Education course at Barberton High School, students had an opportunity to voluntarily participate in an activity in which they would be subjected to a small amount of pepper spray for a brief period of time. The activity was conducted by the class instructor, who is a former police chief, and an experienced professional. Added supervision was provided by the school’s resource officer. Students were required to have parental permission and consent in order to participate in the voluntary exercise. The intent of the training is to help the students gain an industry recognized credential in the law and public safety course curriculum that is offered by the Ohio Department of Education."
As for the Barberton community, there was mixed reaction.
Jennifer Sabo, who is the mother of student said, “I definitely think it’s wrong how upset people are getting, if you don't want your kid to do it then don't have them do it simple as that.”
But Cheryl Spencer disagreed. She said, “I understand how they do somethings like that I mean but not for kids.”
Madison Garland, a fellow student at the high school, said the video seemed funny at first, but became uncomfortable toward the end.
“As it went on and people kept screaming ... went on and p kept on screaming I’m like that's not that funny...it’s uncalled for,” said Madison.