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Pepper spray sickens 12 at Oak Grove High

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An incident that made students and teachers ill at Oak Grove High School in San Jose on Wednesday afternoon was likely caused by pepper spray, according to the East Side Union High School District.

Officials at the school at 285 Blossom Hill Road notified emergency medical services and the San Jose Fire Department to report a foreign smell in a biology classroom around 3 p.m., school district officials said.

About 10 students and the teacher suffered from teary eyes and itchiness and were immediately evacuated from the room, according to the district.

One student was transported to a hospital due to shortness of breath, district officials said.

There was a concern that the smell was emerging from a gas leak, but in the end district officials concluded that it was pepper spray.

Parents and guardians were contacted and picked up their students. Fire officials asked others in the classroom who went home to shower and wash their clothes to call 911 if they felt sick.

A hazardous materials crew in protective gear went into the classroom to try to determine what the agent was that caused the symptoms, San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

Matlow said a total of 12 people experienced symptoms and that all were decontaminated and treated at the school.

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