Teens allowed themselves to be pepper sprayed as a part of a criminal technology course at Barberton High School in Ohio. It was not mandatory but the students who volunteered got 1 point towards the 12 points needed to graduate. I’m afraid that wouldn’t really be enough to get me to volunteer. Maybe a very large check and a home on the French Riviera.
The exercise is supposed to help students who may be going into law enforcement understand the effects of pepper spray, and each student had a waiver signed by their parents. It wasn’t a mandatory exercise, but each student that got sprayed earned a point towards graduation. In order to graduate from a career tech program in Ohio, students need twelve points.
What is pepper spray?
Pepper spray (Also known as mace[NB 1] or capsicum spray) is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control and self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears.
Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape. Although considered a less-than-lethal agent, it has been deadly in rare cases, and concerns have been raised about a number of deaths where being pepper sprayed may have been a contributing factor.
The active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin, which is a chemical derived from the fruit of plants in the Capsicum genus, including chilis. Extraction of oleoresin capsicum (OC) from peppers requires capsicum to be finely ground, from which capsaicin is then extracted using an organic solvent such as ethanol. The solvent is then evaporated, and the remaining waxlike resin is the oleoresin capsicum.
An emulsifier such as propylene glycol is used to suspend OC in water, and pressurized to make it aerosol in pepper spray. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is used to measure the amount of capsaicin and major capsaicinoids within pepper sprays.