Updated:CONYERS, Ga.,None — A 17-year-old Heritage High School student told Channel 2's Tom Jones that she released pepper spray in the hallway, causing an evacuation of the school.
"It was a prank," Ashley Ward said.
But school officials said it was no laughing matter.
Ward was arrested on charges of disrupting a public school and reckless conduct. She appeared in court Friday to face the charges and spoke to Jones shortly thereafter.
The school district has also suspended Ward for 10 days pending a tribunal.
On Wednesday, school officials reported a chemical release that caused havoc at the Conyers high school. Students were left coughing and covering their faces after someone dispersed pepper spray in the hallway, school officials said.
News Chopper 2 flew over the scene as emergency crews arrived.
Deputies said Ward was caught on surveillance video leaving class to spray the hallways. Ward told them she found the spray in a locker, authorities said.