Chemistry teacher hires lawyer after students hurt in science class demonstration

Posted at 12:44 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 12:44:46-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. — The Chemistry teacher leading a demonstration using methanol that injured four students at Dinwiddie High School on October 12, 2022, has retained a lawyer, according to Dinwiddie Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston.

One of those students is still in the hospital.

Weston said the school division attempted to contact the science teacher last week, but "learned from his family that he has retained counsel."

She said they indicated everything should now go through his attorney, but the school division has been unable to reach the attorney because he is currently out of the country.

The Virginia Occupational Health and Safety Office is investigating the incident, which happened during a science demonstration.

Public records show a state safety officer inspected the scene after he was assigned to investigate the injury of an employee at the school.

The United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board issued a press release on Friday "urging schools to review and follow guidance issued by the CSB for lab and classroom demonstrations using flammable liquids."

That board issued a 2017 safety bulletin related to the use of methanol during science demonstrations after three serious incidents across the country where kids were burned during demonstrations.

The safety board investigated each incident and came up with four key lessons learned that they said should prevent future accidents.

Problem solver investigator Melissa Hipolit learned from the Dinwiddie Fire and EMS Chief and Superintendent that several of those recommendations were not followed prior to the accident in Dinwiddie.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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