Students and staff at Prince Albert’s Carlton Comprehensive High School were evacuated and sent home Wednesday after a student sprayed bear spray on school grounds.
According to Alan Nunn, superintendent of schools with the Sask. Rivers School Division, two boys were fighting just before lunch time in the west wing of the school.
One of the boys used the bear mace during the course of the fight then fled the school.
“I can’t understand how youth under 16 years of age get a can of bear spray,” Nunn said. “I don’t know who’s selling it to them, I don’t know how this can happen. It’s becoming all too common. It’s like buying bubble gum. It’s very frustrating to fight something like this.”
Prince Albert Police Services (PAPS) say they’re working hard with retailers to curb the sale of bear spray. While it’s not law, it is store policy to be over 18 and have valid ID to be sold the repellent.
PAPS has 35 reported incidents where bear spray was used in 2015. Nearly two months into 2016, there are 10 bear spray incidents on file.
Director of education Robert Bratvold said they are working hard to combat bear spray incidents at the school.
“What we’re doing to combat bear spray is the things we would do to address any sort of things where there’s acts of violence … education programs related to conflict resolution, that sort of thing.”
“You can and we do enforce things through discipline procedures and those sorts of aspects. Those are necessary and helpful but they need to be in conjunction with measures that work on positive sense of belonging and caring and conflict resolution.”