School board ponders adding pepper spray

School board ponders adding pepper spray

ROYAL — Prairieview-Ogden officials are mulling the possibility of adding another defense tool to their arsenal should a violent offender ever enter the school.

The school board is seeking legal counsel on adding pepper spray for school safety.

Superintendent Vic White said the Illinois State Board of Education's legal counsel and the Champaign County Sheriff's Office have said there is nothing preventing PVO from making pepper spray available.

PVO teacher's union President Anne Pierce said she is in favor of pepper spray in the schools.

The school board advised White to contact the district's legal counsel to come up with a policy and procedures to consider at the board's meeting Monday.

White said he first considered the idea when he attended a recent state school board convention, where a vendor had a display with items that look like paintball guns that shoot pepper spray.

"We're just trying to figure if we can have some kind of (extra) defense in the school system," White said. "All of our staff has gone through the ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) training," which teaches staff not to sit and hide in the event of a violent intruder, but rather to fight and flee.

Adding pepper spray would be one more way of fighting back.

"Maybe a little pepper spray in the eyes," White said.