12 students taken to hospitals after pepper spray discharged

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Twelve students were taken to hospitals after pepper spray was discharged at a North Side elementary school Thursday afternoon in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Paramedics responded to Budlong Elementary School at 2701 W. Foster at 1:35 p.m., according to Fire Media Affairs.

A source said the pepper spray was in a student’s backpack when it went off.

Twelve students were taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital, Weiss Memorial Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, according to Fire Media.

A representative from Chicago Public Schools said the discharge was accidental.

“Staff at Budlong Elementary responded promptly today following an unintentional release of pepper spray in a classroom,” CPS spokesman Michael Passman said in a statement. “Students were relocated to unaffected areas of the school building to complete the school day, and several students were transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Thanks to the quick response of school staff, all students are currently in good condition.”