Community concerned after irritant sprayed at school dance

A Lehigh Acres’ elementary school dance ended in a panic after an irritant was released in the school’s cafeteria where the event was held.  One parent said she is going to confront the school district, since it’s not the first time pepper spray was released at the school. Other parents said the school did a great job handling the chaos.

Ten kids and three adults were transported to the hospital Friday night after the school says an irritant was discharged in the school cafeteria. The incident happened during a school dance for students and their parents/guardians at G. Weaver Hipps Elementary School in Lehigh Acres.

“Well we were just doing some normal stuff like dancing and then I heard like one of our counselors say evacuate,” said Jayden Bonitatis, a third-grade student. “And then I got nervous and really scared, so I was pretty much like the first one to get out.”

LCSO, Lehigh Acres Fire control & Rescue District and Fort Myers Fire Department’s hazmat were on the scene for hours.

“We were outside the school for quite a while, and then when all the ambulances and such showed up,” said Robert Craig, Bonitatis grandfather. “They did a quick triage … She was by far the worst one there. Just hacking. That hack that you here when someone has bronchitis in the winter time.”

An investigation is underway to determine what the irritant is and how it was released.

Photo by WINK News.
Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Oliver Redsten
Bob Irzyk
John-Carlos Estrada
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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