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Ala. City Warned Over Pepper Spray Used On Kids

A civil rights group is threatening to sue the city of Birmingham, Ala., over the use of pepper spray on unruly students.

Birmingham police officers assigned to public schools routinely carry mace or similar sprays.

In a letter to the Birmingham school board, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery called the use of chemical weapons against schoolchildren an egregious violation of their constitutional rights and detrimental to their health. It asked city schools to stop officers from using pepper spray or face a federal lawsuit.

School officials said they are reviewing the letter and have no comment.

Birmingham police and city attorneys wouldn't say how often pepper spray is used in schools or for what reasons.