Coach, student pepper-sprayed during fight at Harding High School

CHARLOTTE — Police were called to Harding University High School in west Charlotte Friday morning after a fight where pepper spray was involved, officials said.

Officers were called around 7:15 a.m. to the school on Alleghany Street and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesperson confirmed there was a fight. A student had pepper spray and used it on a coach and a classmate, according to officials.

Both will be OK.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said officers responded to reports of an altercation at Harding and told Channel 9 “one person was detained as a result of an assault.”

It was unclear if the detained student would face charges or face disciplinary action.

The investigation is ongoing.

Channel 9 crews saw several CMPD cruisers, along with an ambulance, on campus. The school was placed on a modified lockdown, according to officials.

Angela Edwards is a grandparent of a Harding student and told Channel 9 she doesn’t want to see things such as clear backpacks and metal detectors at her grandson’s school, even if students get violent.

“That’s more like a jail and after you leave school you still have to deal with you,” she said.

Seeing violence in schools is frustrating for Young Life pastor Mike Slaughter, who works with many of the Harding students at his church across the street.

“Things are tough. Things aren’t easy for them,” he said. “It’s hard to see the hope.”

In a separate incident, two juveniles were charged after a gun was found following a large fight at the high school on Tuesday, according to police.

Fights and weapons found on CMS campuses are issues leaders have been trying to address. Last month, at a Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Earnest Winston said the statistics this year are unacceptable.

At that meeting, the district said it is working on a new program to address the issue.

Slaughter told Channel 9 the violence we’re seeing a symptom of a much larger problem and believes if people volunteer one hour a week to support and connect with high school students, they wouldn’t act out.

“If people don’t do that what do you think will happen? More of this,” he said. “You know what? It will get worse.”

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

(WATCH BELOW PAST COVERAGE: Gun found after fight at Harding High School, source says)