LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District police officers were very busy Thursday morning breaking up student brawls at five valley high schools leading police to issue nearly two dozen citations for fighting.
CCSD Sgt. Bryan Zink said officers needed to use pepper spray to break up three of those fights at Basic High School, Canyon Springs High School, and Chaparral High School where 12 girls were cited for fighting in a single brawl.
Chaparral High student, Kayla Daniel, said everyone near the 12-girl melee was caught in a cloud of pepper spray.
"Before the fight was over, the police was pepper spraying everybody," Daniel said. "No matter - it wasn't just the kids who were fighting; it was literally all of the kids around the fight."
Daniel said she didn't get hit, but she wished the officers had been more selective in picking targets to break up the fight.
"They shouldn't be pepper sprayed for no reason," she said. "That was unnecessary."
Sgt. Zink said pepper spray was used at the three schools for officer safety.
Zink also said a student punched an officer in the face twice at Canyon Springs High School and a bus driver was injured in the fray before officers used pepper spray and dispersed the crowd.
Zink said pepper spray is not dangerous and is a better alternative than batons or stun guns for crowd control.
Parents, like Kenyondra Bennett, have begun calling for school leaders to stop rising tensions between students before they boil over at the end of the year and officers are forced to deploy pepper spray.
"I had to eventually take it into my own hands and take my baby out fo school," Bennett said, of her 16-year-old daughter at Chaparral High. "To keep her from being one of the girls who got jumped today."
One student was arrested for battery on a police officer, another cited for obstruction, and a third student was wanted by police after the Canyon Springs incident.
Also, those 12 girls were cited for fighting at Chaparral High school, three students were cited for fighting at Basic High school, and two students were cited for fighting at Cimarron High School.
Daniel said the last day of school could have been a significant motivator for many students in deciding whether or not to fight at school.
"I have a couple of friends who said they were going to fight someone on the last day of school as what are the teachers going to do," she said.