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Peoria, IL: Pepper spray used on middle school girls; resource officers receive training

Feb 7, 2020, Pekin (IL) Daily Times: Peoria schools officers trained for ‘deescalation,’ including use of pepper spray https://www.pekintimes.com/news/20200207/peoria-schools-officers-trained-for-deescalation-including-use-of-pepper-spray PEORIA — School resource officers with Peoria Public Schools undergo yearly training to be able to use pepper spray to “deescalate” situations like the one that occurred earlier this week at a Central Peoria middle school. On Tuesday, as many as five girls at Sterling Middle School were involved in a fight in the school’s lunch room and a resource officer used pepper spray to break up the fight. No one was seriously injured, and the combatants had been dispersed by the time Peoria police officers arrived. But the matter did beg the questions: Why was pepper spray used on children between the ages of 10 and 14? And who can use the spray? Thomas Bruch, a district spokesman, said the 27 officers within the district take an annual tactics training class regarding how to control situations and how to safety deescalate them without causing further harm to themselves or the students. But, much like police officers, there are rules on when and how they use the devices, Bruch said. Many of the resource officers were trained as police officers….