The two students suffered eye injuries when chemicals that were mixed during the experiment exploded, spraying them with liquid. Firefighters responded to the scene, and the two students received medical treatment and were released.
The teacher was placed on leave pending a full investigation into the circumstances. A spokesperson for the fire department stated that the experiment was not the type usually conducted by middle school classes. The teacher could face criminal charges if the chemicals used were not approved and deemed to be dangerous.
Our sincere wishes for a speedy recover go out to the young victims in this accident.
Chemicals Can Cause Serious Injuries
Most chemical injuries are sustained in the course of working in the mining or research fields. The Centers for Disease Control note that in mining industries alone, there were 2,705 cases of chemical injury between 1999 and 2006. However, chemical accidents are less common in schools and areas where these substances are not commonly used.
Chemicals must be stored and used properly to prevent injuries. When people handle chemicals who do not understand or do not observe safety procedures, innocent people can be hurt.
Why Did This Teacher Use These Chemicals?
It is unclear at this point why the teacher allowed the students to mix dangerous chemicals. It is possible that this was a matter of lack of supervision; it is also a possibility that the teacher did not understand what would happen if the two chemicals were mixed. Either way, teachers have a responsibility to protect students from harm, and that responsibility was not taken seriously enough to prevent this accident from happening.
Liability for Teachers Regarding Students
Teachers are held to a very high standard when it comes to keeping students safe. Teachers are required to be aware of what their students are doing and put a stop to any dangerous behavior. In this regard, teachers are also given the authority to punish students who behave dangerously and to limit their access to dangerous chemicals or other objects that could cause harm.
When a teacher fails to do this, there may be liability issues not only for the teacher but for the school system as well. Just as teachers are responsible for student behavior, administrators are responsible for teacher behavior. When an administration fails to make clear to teachers the expected level of behavior, these administrators may have liability for any accidents that occur, as well.
In this case, it is likely that both the teacher and the school may have liability for the accident that injured these two students. A Elk Grove personal injury attorney should examine the facts of the case and determine if the students and their parents have grounds for a lawsuit against the teacher and the school. This lawsuit could pay for the students’ medical treatment as well as their pain and mental anguish as a result of this unfortunate incident.