On May 17, 2018, at 2:02 PM, Roger McClellan <roger.o.mcclellan**At_Symbol_Here**ATT.NET> wrote:--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchasRob:I applaud your making contact with the Fire Chief on this avoidable disaster. I urge you to make contact with the school principal to emphasize that such "demonstrations" are no longer acceptable. Moreover, they need to understand the level of condemnation is so great that any injured students will have no difficulty in finding experts to testify on their behalf in legal cases naming the teacher, their supervisor (the principal) and the school board as defendants. The fire chief's premature conclusions are very unlikely to stand up in court.I remain concerned that the scientific community , including ACS members, continue to send mix messages on the use of such "demonstrations' to heighten student interest in chemistry and the sciences. Indeed, if I recall one of the senior participants in this exchange implied they were working on a safer approach to such demonstrations. Why are some individual's still fixated on encouraging their use.I thought the video of the young lady who barely survived the "Cleveland Demonstration" was compelling. These "demonstrations,ie pseudo experiments" serve no useful purpose.For safer class rooms with better informed teachers and mentors at all levels of instruction!Roger McClellanOn Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:44 AM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM> wrote:
Just a quick followup to let everyone know that I spoke with Chief Bush a few moments ago and we had a very productive conversation. He has heard from others in our community and elsewhere with respect to this long-standing issue we have been fighting for so long and appreciates the input and resources from everyone. He is committed to ensuring that something like this never happens again and I assured him that if he needs anything from our community all he needs to do is ask..Rob--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchasI know that several of us have been pushing facts to the media that might otherwise have accepted this incorrect party line and you can see that's included in the article. But it's not the headline which few read beyond.Clearly, while Mr. Bush is no doubt well-schooled in fire fighting, he is out of his league on this statement. This was no "accident". This was a foreseeable outcome of a demonstration practice that we know is outdated and flawed. It is as much as an "accident" as crashing your car while texting - it may not happen every time but if you keep doing it, a crash is inevitable. Texting drivers have no intention to crash the car, but that does not excuse the behavior, such crashes are not accidental, and the drivers bear the blame for any injuries or damages.The web page for the Hendersonville Fire Department is http://www.hendersonville-fd.org and has a very nice Contact Chief Bush link right on the front as well as contact phone numbers. Perhaps I will be dropping him a polite and professional note when I get a chance.BTW, the principal's contact information is here https://mhm.sumnerschools.org/index.php/staff-directory/16-administration/11, the school board is here https://sumnerschools.org/index.php/scs-board and the administration is here https://sumnerschools.org/index..php/directory/20-administrationRob Toreki======================================================
On May 16, 2018, at 7:33 AM, DCHAS Membership Chair <membership**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG> wrote:http://www.wkrn.com/top-news/investigators-call-chemical-fire-at-merrol-hyde-magnet-school-an-accident/1181517318
Investigators call chemical fire at Merrol Hyde Magnet School an "accident"
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - The chemical fire at Merrol Hyde Magnet School was an accident, according to the Hendersonville Fire Department.
Fire Chief Scotty Bush released the findings from the city fire marshal, saying what caused the fire was not the result of any criminal act.
Six days ago, a chemistry lab experiment went awry when someone mixed boric acid and alcohol. Something was used to ignite the mixture, causing a flash fire lasting 3 - 5 seconds.
The fire injured 17 students and a teacher, and forced the evacuation of the entire school.
In a news release Chief Bush declared the official cause of ignition unintentional:
As we all know, anytime we deal with chemicals in any setting, accidents occur whether at home, school, business, factory or any other setting. Our department will be meeting with [School Director] Dr. Del Phillips and his staff to review current policies and procedures.
What happened at Merrol Hyde Magnet School was not a surprise to chemical safety experts across the country. They have been warning schools about unsafe lab demonstrations for years.
There have been 32 similar incidents at school labs across the country over the last 20 years.
The American Chemical Society and the National Science Teachers Association are among several agencies telling schools that teachers need more training before they do chemical demonstrations in class, and they should use alternatives to alcohol- based flame tests or at least use safety equipment like fume hoods to safeguard students and teachers.
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