January 13, 2004

Schools’ Out

The school is still closed. The middle school where Viola works was closed last Tuesday when a student brought mercury to class. Now, a week later, it’s still shuttered. And they’re estimating that it’s going to stay closed for another week. Kids got mercury on their shoes and clothes, and tracked it around the school. Crews have been in there all week ripping out carpets and replacing furniture. Kids were throwing mercury at each other in the locker room. Now the entire locker room needs to be remodeled, including jackhammering the floor and replacing the drain pipes. Dozens of students have permanently lost personal belongings that became contaminated. Urine tests were being offered for any students or faculty who wanted to be sure their health checked out. Parents are angry because the school district isn’t keeping them informed about when the school might reopen, but the date keeps getting pushed back, and the most efficient way to disseminate information to 850 families is through the newspaper and the radio. Midterms have been pushed back by several weeks. Summer vacation will most likely be delayed by several weeks to make up the lost time. The student who brought the mercury to school and caused the whole thing is facing a suspension and possible lifetime expulsion from the Douglas County School District.

But little Sammy gets to have his mommy home all day, so at least he’s happy.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (3)

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  1. Sean Harding says:

    Wow. That’s just down the road from where I used to live (I’d say a few blocks, but the blocks are weird around there). Crazy.

    Did they ever figure out how the kid got mercury? Maybe I’m just ignorant, but I wouldn’t expect it’s something you can just walk into the store and buy…

    Posted January 13, 2004 @ 5:51 pm
  2. Dan says:

    I have to say I’m somewhat flabbergasted reading about this… When I was a kid in 5th grade in Carson, a certain classmate also brought a vial of mercury to show everyone at St. Theresa’s. It is pretty cool stuff to see, you have to admit..

    Anyways, it’s pretty amazing about how mercury is handled now vs. 15-20 years ago. The teacher just took the vial, wiped out the inside of the desk, and put the rest down the drain. We’re all still alive and still have only 2 arms, feet, ears, etc 😉 That certain classmate got it from his high school aged sister, who had access to it through her junior level chemistry class(another stark contrast to todays chemistry classes I’m sure).

    Posted January 15, 2004 @ 1:22 pm
  3. Skip Oberon says:

    I really shutter at the fact that one child with one vial can cause such damage to the daily to and fro of his peers’ and elders’ days’ and nights’ schedules. Though mercury is an element and a metal, it is also a liquid. Whoa, that is heavy indeed! If you were to brake open all of the thermometers in the world then I would brake for squirrels because let’s face it I would feel really bad if I were to run like hell up the metaphorical lamppost of the equinautical nosegrowths.

    Posted March 2, 2004 @ 12:33 pm

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