Western High School Students Pepper Sprayed After Fight


Ashleigh Stemple, Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 11th, 2018, nearly fifty students at Western High School in Las Vegas were pepper sprayed due to a fight. The argument, which was about racial and cultural differences, escalated to a full-out brawl. Up to twelve students were directly involved in the fight.

During lunch time, a dozen students were heard arguing in the cafeteria about racial differences in the Las Vegas high school. The fight soon intensified, quickly flooding out into the courtyard of the school. Up to one hundred to two hundred students heard the fight and were drawn towards it. The on-duty officers at the school were on the scene immediately, attempting to separate the twelve students. The fight had escalated so much that officers had to use pepper spray to get the students to finally stop. The pepper spray spread throughout the air and infiltrated the eyes of at least fifty students. The officers continued to pepper spray not only the students involved in the heated fight, but also surrounding students who only witnessed it.

Mia Gardea, a student at Western High School who had witnessed the fight, told LasVegasNow.com, “No one really knew what was happening while they were in the lunchroom or in the lunch line until they felt the pepper spray. After that, everyone ran out.”

The officers sprayed so much pepper spray that it went into the cafeteria, making people throw up, cry, and unable to see their surroundings. Witnesses at the school reported there being so much pepper spray that people had to run away from the fight.

The authorities, including the local fire department, arrived at the school shortly after the fight broke out. The paramedics had to treat the four dozen people that were pepper sprayed during the incident, and the police arrested the four people that had started the fight.

Many concerned parents voiced their disapproval of the on-duty officers’ way of handling the situation. Mia Gardea’s mother, Susie Gardea, expressed to LasVegasNow.com, “I think they could have used something that was a little more safe because now you’ve got students that are like one of [Mia’s] friends, who was throwing up.”

During the fight at the high school, social media experienced an explosion of recordings, and photographs. Almost every student who witnessed the fight had their phone out and were videotaping it, then uploading it onto multiple social media platforms. One of the students who had walked into the cafeteria recalled nobody attempting to stop the teens; they were only watching and recording  the confrontation.

Police have only arrested four students despite the fact that up to twelve students were directly involved in the fight and more than four dozen other students were pepper sprayed. The arrested teenagers were transported to the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. No further information has been released about whether or not they will be receiving bail or not.