Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jacksonville student injured in chemistry demonstration fire in February

From Anne Schindler of First Coast News:
A chemistry experiment gone awry resulted in at least one severely injured student at Westside High School on 103rd Street. 
First Coast News has confirmed that the February accident resulted in extensive second-degree burns and hospitalization of the male teenager. 
The Duval County School District does not appear to have told the general public or even parents of other students who witnessed the accident. But litigation is likely pending – which could end up costing taxpayers countywide. 
According to information obtained from sources and the sole public record that district officials have released, the incident happened at Westside High School on Feb. 28 during a class science experiment. 
According to people familiar with the case, it occurred in the lab of chemistry teacher Asante Dean. 
Dean has been chair of the school’s science department since June of 2015, according to his LinkedIn page, and has taught at the school since June 2013. 
First Coast News requested the incident report, which teachers are required to file after any classroom accident. The school district refused to provide it, citing an unrelated public records exemption which applies to personnel records. 
District officials also declined to say if parents were notified – including those whose kids witnessed the accident. Asked for any notice sent home, school district officials cited FERPA -- a federal exemption designed to protect students academic and discipline records...
We will see if this ends up being related to an alcohol fire. We're about due for the first one of 2018... 

5 comments:

  1. The school district should release as much information as possible. Now they seem to be trying to hide something and it makes them look bad.

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  2. In the words of Lord Voldemort, when will they learn? I am referring to hiding crime is worse than crime itself.

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  3. Is there a module in the training for science teachers about safe demonstrations? I know that a lot of teachers in those positions are sometimes not even trained in science (some are formally math or even much further removed fields). I TA'd chem labs for BEd students and oof... both the curriculum and their fine motor skills were rough at times :(

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  4. Putting an end to alcohol flame demos is worth getting fired up over.

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  5. @Uknown(4/13/18): Most secondary science teachers in the US are not science majors - they are education majors who took science classes. See JCHAS editorial here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchas.2014.01.009 While this may not be the root cause of the incidents, I have maintained it is nearly so. Chemical safety is learned in the laboratory, and when we are allowing our secondary school educators to skip out on laboratory courses in order to become a "teacher", they do not get the requisite safety information.

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