The answer is supposed to be no. It’s a question now in court because not everyone sees as much:
On Jan. 20, a federal court in Birmingham began hearing arguments in a class-action lawsuit alleging that school-based police officers used excessive force in spraying disabling chemicals on teenagers.
The eight lead plaintiffs, all former Birmingham high school students, are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Incident reports show that Birmingham school officers have used a pepper spray/tear gas combination product on over 300 students since 2006, in 110 separate incidents at eight of the city’s nine high schools, according to SPLC attorney Ebony Howard. (The only school where chemical spray was not used requires high test scores for admission.) The lawsuit seeks to curtail the practice and win damages for several of the plaintiffs, all of whom are black — like 96 percent of Birmingham public school students.