LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) - School leaders in Lawrence have called in reinforcements to be at Lawrence Central High School Thursday.
It's in response to a pepper spray incident at the school Wednesday afternoon that led to fights between students.
There will be police officers patrolling the halls and parking lots Thursday at Lawrence Central High School.
Following Wednesday's incident, 15 students had to be taken to area hospitals after breathing in the pepper spray.
All of the students are expected to be just fine.
At 2:15 p.m., Lawrence Police and IMPD officers rushed to Lawrence Central High School.
"Somebody had sprayed mace throughout the science hallway and everybody started inhaling it and started coughing," said Daniel Roberts.
The fumes forced school officials to evacuate 1,500 students. Many of them had to wait outside while emergency officials checked air levels inside the building.
During the mayhem, several fights broke out. Then the rain moved in.
"Brought the kids in; put them in the gymnasium; another scuffle broke out. There was more pepper spray so we released the kids back outside," said Lawrence Township Spokesperson Mary Louise Bewley.
Thomas Ward is a freshman. He took cell phone video inside the gym.
"They had cops everywhere," Ward said.
Not long before the COPS arrived in the gym, Ward said there was chaos everywhere.
"There were about three fights. Someone fainted," he said.
Parents showed up to the scene worried about their children. Tamara Ward's son was in the middle of the disturbance.
"It's scary. He doesn't want to come back to school and I have another daughter that was locked inside the gym and she was scared," she said.
School leaders hope parents will help them avoid a repeat of what happened.
"We're asking parents to talk to their kids tonight; talk to them about appropriate behavior," Bewley said.
All afterschool activities were canceled Wednesday afternoon. 24-Hour News 8 also checked the school's handbook to see what it says about pepper spray.
It said nothing about it.
However it does point out that students will be expelled for having live rounds of ammunition.
As for the students involved in the fights, they could also face expulsion.
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