Monday, January 18, 2010

Science project prompts school evacuation

The San Diego California newspaper reports:
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.

When police and the Metro Arson Strike Team responded, they also found electrical components in the student's backpack, Luque said. After talking to the student, it was decided about 1 p.m. to evacuate the school as a precaution while the item was examined. Students were escorted to a nearby playing field, and parents were called and told they could come pick up their children.

A MAST robot took pictures of the device and X-rays were evaluated. About 3 p.m., the device was determined to be harmless, Luque said.

Luque said the project was intended to be a type of motion-detector device.

Both the student and his parents were "very cooperative" with authorities, Luque said. He said fire officials also went to the student's home and checked the garage to make sure items there were neither harmful nor explosive.

"There was nothing hazardous at the house," Luque said.

The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said. ...

Luque said both the student and his parents were extremely upset.
Recommending counseling?! The kid did a very innocent and ordinary science project. Lunatic school authorities went beserk. The kid and his family gets upset. So do the authorities apologize? No, they recommend counseling!

When I hear "authorities recommended counseling", I just assume that the authorities made a disasterous sequence of mistakes, and they are trying to make someone else the scapegoat.

The authorities probably told the parents that if they get the counseling, then there will be no criminal prosecution, no kid kicked out of school, no bill for emergency services, no CPS investigation, and no one put on the TSA no-fly list. The parents will probably play it safe and get the counseling. Because the bigger the govt screwup, the more the bureaucrats will cover their tracks.


Anonymous said...


I disagree with you about one point. The poor boy and his parents
might actually need counseling now to deal with the trauma associated with the way the "authorities" dealt with the situation.

StillHere0509 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Another Angry Dad said...

ha, i bet that's the last time that kid tries to do something different than his peers. he's going to do fake volcanoes and butterfly collections the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

no doubt, another potential engineer or scientist lost to this country. Hey, after this experience he'll want to be a counselor, lawyer, or even a politician. Much lower bar to entry and we all know there's already a burgeoning market for those all-important services. So much for creating something of concrete value and worth.....

Dan Brewington said...

It's a good thing he didn't make a volcano with vinegar and baking soda because it could be considered an explosive device. Counseling? Everyone is a half step away from counseling. Jaywalkers should have to go to counseling to help understand the moral consequences associated with not crossing the street at crosswalks. The custody evaluator in my case recommended that I seek cognitive behavioral therapy as it relates to parenting. The evaluation made no mention of parental deficits. I still haven't been able to find anyone who can figure out what "cognitive behavioral therapy as it relates to parenting" is. The moment someone says someone else needs counseling, is the moment the "someone else" enters into denial when they say they are not in need of therapy. Simple logic: if someone "could" be in need of counseling means that they "could not" be in need of counseling.