Pepper spray released in classroom sends student to hospital

A student exposed to pepper spray released at a San Jose middle school classroom this morning has been sent to a hospital, a fire department spokesman said.

Crews learned about the incident at Sylvandale Middle School located at 653 Sylvandale Ave. just east of Senter Road shortly after 9:30 a.m., Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

School staff alerted a fire crew conducting an inspection on campus to check on students complaining of an irritant, Matlow said.

A substance, later determined to be pepper spray, was released in the classroom. Emergency crews have transported one student who experienced minor distress to a hospital, he said.

Eleven other students made complaints related to the pepper spray exposure, but were fine after getting some fresh air. Their parents declined to send their children to the hospital, Matlow said.

The classroom was cleared for a hazardous materials team that recovered the pepper spray canister and decontaminated the space, according to Matlow.

The incident was deemed under control around 10:45 a.m., he said. Janitors will finish cleaning up the room before allowing students back inside, according to Matlow.