Colorado Springs 2nd grader uses pepper spray at school, district believes it was an accident

Madison Elementary in Colorado Springs.
Madison Elementary in Colorado Springs.(KKTV/Wayne Hicks)
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 3:35 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - An incident involving pepper spray, or a substance similar to pepper spray, at a Colorado Springs elementary school is being addressed by the district.

The ordeal happened at Madison Elementary school on Thursday near Constitution Avenue and N. Murray Boulevard. According to a spokesperson with Colorado Springs School District 11, the incident was likely an accident. The student reportedly sprayed the substance in question on the playground, impacting several other students and even the principal. The district isn’t certain it was pepper spray, but it had a similar impact causing kids to cough.

“In these types of situations, we just ask that parents be extra cognizant of what is going into your child’s backpack,” D-11 Spokesperson Devra Ashby stated. “I myself have a second grader. I know that they try to take things to school to try and show off to their friends that they really should not be taking to school.”

It isn’t clear if the young child or the parents will face any repercussions.

“In our board policies pepper spray is listed as a weapon,” Ashby added. “So, they could face some serious consequences including suspension up to expulsion. Now we wouldn’t do that if the circumstances surrounding it were that it was an accident, and they didn’t know what it was.”

Ashby says they treat any incident as a case-by-case scenario. No children needed to be hospitalized.

The following letter was sent to parents and guardians:

Dear Madison Families,

I want to assure you the top priority at Madison is student and staff safety. We want to make you aware that today a second-grade student brought what is believed to be pepper spray or something similar and sprayed the substance on the playground, which caused other second graders to be impacted. Our staff immediately called emergency medical responders, and they completed a thorough evaluation of all students involved. We, along with the paramedics, spoke with both second-grade classes to see if anyone was having reactions to make sure we got everyone evaluated. We realize this was very serious, and we have taken immediate steps to address this situation.

This may be a great time to talk with your student about what they should and should not bring to school. Items like pepper spray are not permitted on school property because of the safety risks associated with them. District 11 and our school staff work hard to provide a safe learning and working environment every day. If you have any questions, please contact the school office at 328-7300.


Darien Latimer


Madison Elementary