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Pepper spray results in children being evacuated from bus

A girl released pepper spray on a school bus, causing some students to cough excessively and complain of odor Tuesday, May 16, Red Wing Police Department said.

Bus 84 was en route to Twin Bluff Middle School and Burnside Elementary School when several children had a reaction, Red Wing Superintendent Karsten Anderson said. The driver pulled over, got them off and called for a new bus.

Sunnyside Elementary staff members supervised the students as they waited, Anderson said in an email to district parents.

The cause wasn’t determined until approximately 5:30 p.m. Students were interviewed, the bus video was reviewed and police were notified.

“First Student did walk through that bus and check to see that the mechanical systems were functioning properly and they were,” Anderson said Tuesday afternoon.

As students arrived at Burnside and Twin Bluff that morning, the school nurses assessed them and contacted parents as necessary. Staff monitored the students throughout the day.

Anderson notified police at approximately 5:30 p.m. that a girl admitted to releasing pepper spray. The school district was notifying parents and would determine an appropriate response, Chief Roger Pohlman said.

Anderson said anyone with questions about the district's handling of the situation should contact him at klanderson@rwps.org.

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