Female students pepper sprayed during fight at Fairley

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A fight Monday at a Memphis high school ended with more than a dozen students getting pepper sprayed.

The fight happened during a lunch period Monday at Fairley High School.  Parent Phyllis Elam was in the school's office when the fight broke out.

"I don't understand why Memphis City Schools say they gonna lay off one hundred teachers," she said.  "They need all the help they can get up here.  It's bad."

Officials said over 15 girls were involved in the fight; enough that school security guards felt pepper spray was necessary to break things up.

"Because of the size of it, they had to use chemical agent," MCS Security Chief Gerald Darling said.

"You can see the redness in their eyes (and) the spray all over their shirts," Elam said.   "Lotta girls jumping up and down, saying they can't breathe."

Because rules require any student hit by pepper spray to receive medical treatment, ambulances were called to the school to take the girls to local hospitals.

According to Darling, the fight began over the weekend - at home.

"The behavior specialist is addressing the issues that happened in the community that stem into the school," Darling said.  "We're looking at how we can prevent this from happening again in the future."

Elam said she was fed up with the behavior.

"I don't put it on security," she said.  "I put it on the children.  Children these days are hard headed."

Darling said school officials are still investigating the fight, adding that it was likely some of the students involved would end up at juvenile hall.

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