Principal: South Lakes High School Evacuation Was Due to Apparent Aerosol Discharge

(This article was edited at 3:25 p.m. Thursday after additional information was released through a statement by the school principal.)

Students and staff at South Lakes High School were evacuated Thursday morning after a chemical scare that administration says may result in criminal charges.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Principal Kim Retzer said the evacuation just after 10 a.m. was prompted after “some type of aerosol was apparently discharged in the hallway in the vicinity of the library.”

“As a precaution, five students and one teacher were taken to Reston Hospital for treatment. They have all been released. Others affected by the spray were treated at the scene. The fire department quickly responded and we were allowed to return to the building about 50 minutes later to resume normal operations. The fire department and hazmat team determined that the odor was not related to our on-going construction.”

Retzer said her office, with the assistance of a school resource officer and the Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Safety and Security, is conducting a “thorough investigation” of the incident to “identify the individual or individuals responsible.”

“Appropriate disciplinary consequences will be assigned in response to this very serious event and criminal charges are also a possibility.”

The principal also commended students and staff for their cooperation during the incident.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we will continue to be diligent in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment.”

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