Sunday, January 24, 2010

Science project prompts San Diego school evacuation

And please note that this was not any kind of project that exposed anyone to any actual hazard, just that an ignorant fuck thought it looked hazardous:
SAN DIEGO — Students were evacuated from Millennial Tech Magnet Middle School in the Chollas View neighborhood Friday afternoon after an 11-year-old student brought a personal science project that he had been making at home to school, authorities said.

Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said the student had been making the device in his home garage. A vice principal saw the student showing it to other students at school about 11:40 a.m. Friday and was concerned that it might be harmful, and San Diego police were notified.

The school, which has about 440 students in grades 6 to 8 and emphasizes technology skills, was initially put on lockdown while authorities responded.

Luque said the project was made of an empty half-liter Gatorade bottle with some wires and other electrical components attached. There was no substance inside.
From the San Diego Union-Tribune (h/t ssdd in this sciencemadness thread); my bold. And what was it really? The fire department determined that the kid was actually trying to make a primitive motion detector. Now I can understand the vice principal having gotten a bit freaked out, but take note of what happened afterwards:

The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said. The student violated school policies, but there was no criminal intent, Luque said.

"There will be no (criminal) charges whatsoever," Luque said.

Police and fire officials also will not seek to recover costs associated with responding to the incident, the spokesman said.

Now what in the fuck is this? He needs counselling because he happened to make something which the vice principal didn't recognize, and mistakenly thought it was dangerous? Yeah, I suppose if you're smarter than an authority figure, something has to be done about that. And this at a school which bills itself as a "tech" school?

And as an aside, the comments made by hissingnoise in the sciencemadness thread are, er, unfortunate.

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