On Friday, May 12, a video was posted on Twitter that suddenly became viral. It showed students at Barberton High School in Ohio getting pepper sprayed as part of a class assignment, according to Fox 8 News.
The class instructor is a former police chief and the video was shot by a parent who had consented to be present for the assignment, according to CNN News.
In order to participate, the students needed a waiver signed by their parents, it was not mandatory. The video shows a row of teens lined up against a building. One by one, an officer pepper sprays each student as they began to grin and eventually screamed with suffering.
“It felt like sticking your face into a bonfire,” said a participant, Joshua Horvath, according to U.S. News.
CNN News reported hundreds of comments on Twitter ranting. Little did they know this activity was voluntary, “This teacher should be fired for his job #firethisteacher,” Jose Benitez tweeted.
The purpose of this assignment was for a criminal technology class. Some of the students are hoping to enter law enforcement, so they were exposed to the experience and comprehension of getting pepper sprayed. It is also it was a credit for graduation if they are interested for the Ohio tech program, according to New York Daily News.
U.S. News reported Horvath, a student who wants to be a police officer said, “It teaches us what we’re going to be doing in the field, it keeps kids out of trouble because once you learn at a younger age, you’re like oh, yeah, I don’t wanna do that again.”
“It’s an excellent program,” said a parent of one of the students, Melody Steinhour, recording the video.” The philosophy is, if you’re going to carry pepper spray or you’re going to carry a Taser and use it as a weapon, you need to know what it feels like before you inflict that pain on someone else,” she told ABC News.
After all, Barberton High School might be an example for law enforcement programs offered to youth.