JCPS confirms pepper spray believed to be used on school bus

Jeffersontown EMS said two students were taken to Norton Children’s Hospital.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:32 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 1:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools confirmed at least five Carrithers Middle School students were treated after mace was sprayed on a school bus Wednesday morning. Two students were taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

A JCPS spokesperson said it happened around 8:15 a.m. The two adults were involved in an altercation at a bus stop. The two adults then boarded the bus, then ran off after pepper spray was used. Emergency medical services and JCPS police were immediately called. JCPS confirmed a student is responsible for using the pepper spray, despite initial reports that it was one of the adults.

Pepper spray is listed as a weapon and is not permitted at school or on buses, per JCPS policy.

The Jeffersontown Fire Department said there were 31 students on the school bus at the time and five of those students were treated at the school. Jeffersontown EMS said two students were taken to Norton Children’s Hospital.

The following letter was sent by JCPS:


Dear Carrithers Middle School families,

It is vitally important that we all work together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students both in our buildings and on our school buses. I’m writing to let you know about a situation that impacted students on one of our buses today.

This morning, two adults got onto Bus 1849 at one of our stops and at least one sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray at a student. The adults then ran off of the bus.

We immediately called JCPS Police and EMS to check on all of the students because pepper spray can cause skin and respiratory issues. Two students were treated by EMS at the school.

This situation is unacceptable. We expect all members of our school community to set positive examples by demonstrating respect for and adherence to school safety rules. Adults play a crucial role in fostering a safe learning environment. JCPS Police will continue to investigate what happened.

While we are thankful no one was seriously injured, we know a situation like this can impact students in different ways. If you student would like to talk with someone, our school counselors are always available.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school office.

Thank you for all you do to support our students and staff at Carrithers Middle School.


Jason Watts, Principal

This is a developing story as this incident continues to be investigated.