Last month, a Park City High School student released pepper spray in the school’s lecture hall in order to prevent the TPUSA chapter from meeting.
According to the Park Record, the Summit County Attorney’s Office filed 18 criminal charges against the 17-year-old high school student who was affiliated with the attack.
On Friday, May 17, the now 18-year-old student attacker, while in 3rd District Juvenile Court, admitted to releasing the pepper spray inside the school. The chargers are as follows: criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, two counts of assault, and one count of disrupting a meeting, all class B misdemeanors.
The judge presiding, Elizabeth Knight, dismissed the other 14 chargers. The Park Record will not name the student, as he was a minor at the time of the incident.
The teen aggressor confirmed to Knight that he sprayed the pepper spray in an act of protest against an event put on by PCHS’s Turning Point USA club.
As the student explicated that his act of spraying the hall was “with the intention to disrupt a meeting,” the Park Record reported.
“I didn’t feel as though it was a very safe thing for a lot of our students to really have in our school, so I decided I wanted to disrupt it,” he said during the hearing.
The event was relocated to another location on campus; however, 20 attendees of the event did seek medical attention.
Many of the TPUSA activists on campus have related the attack to their political views, saying the action was done in spite of them.
Judge Knight explained to the student that he was shutting down speech simply on the basis of disagreement. She further advised him to find more peaceful ways of protest.
As the Park Record outlined, “[Judge Knight] sentenced him to 100 hours of community service and ordered him to write an essay on civility; write a letter of apology to Trent Jarman, the school’s resource officer who entered the school in an attempt to identify the substance; pay restitution to the school to cover clean-up costs and pay the co-pay of the individual who was hospitalized because of the spray. She also said victim mediation is available for any victim who would like to participate.”
The student attacker affirmed, in a statement he read during his hearing, that he was sorry for his actions and the effects it had on his peers.