Fort Myers, Fla. - WINK News learning more about how severe a chemical scare at a local school could've been for students. Firefighters say a sixth grader unleashed pepper spray, forcing Six Mile Charter School to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon.
"My stomach started hurting really bad and I was coughing really bad and I was shaking," student Brooke Lembo said.
The father of the boy who brought the pepper spray to class tells WINK News he likely did it because he was bullied so much. But, he doesn't condone the boy's actions.
"He says he took the pepper spray inside the bathroom and he sprayed it on the mirror," Andre Lauria said. "That is where everything started. He said he brought the pepper spray to protect himself but I do not agree with that."
Pediatrician Dr. Annette MacKoul tells WINK News that behavior like this is a cry for help and often, a last resort.
"It's just a sad statement that he felt that he had to go to that extreme to retaliate and try to get back at the kids who were bullying him or, protect himself from the other kids," MacKoul said.
As for the health impact, MacKoul said kids' mucous membranes are much thinner than adults, making them more sensitive to spray's effects.
"If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, benadryl by mouth, some hydrocortizone to the skin," MacKoul explained.
And, when in doubt, she suggests checking with you doctor.
A school spokesperson says they'll do a full investigation and decide if that student should be punished. Classes will resume as normal on Thursday.