When we send our children to school, we want to believe that every stepto possibly keep them safe has been taken. School administrators and staff, we hope, have the best interest of our children in mind and will do everything in their power to ensure no hazards are present on the premises.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In early January, two Beacon High School students were engulfed in flames when a chemistry demonstration went horribly awry.
Beacon High School, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, has now been cited with eight violations by Fire Department investigators. The investigators found that dangerous chemicals were being stored in an unsafe manner and that safety practices were lacking in three rooms.
The department gave Beacon High School 10 days to correct a handful of the more serious violations and 30 days for the rest. The department did not issue a “cease and desist” order, however, which would close the teaching labs.
The accident occurred because there was no safety equipment, such as chemical fume hoods, present in the “science demo room,” according to New York State Department of Labor officials and a recent New York Times article.
One student was badly burned and remains in critical condition at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for some time. The other student suffered relatively minor burns.
As a New York personal injury and premises liability attorney, I think the fact that so many safety violations were in place at Beacon High School is appalling. The safety of schoolchildren is of the utmost importance, as parents and guardians entrust their students to teachers and administrators, believing they will be returned home safely at the
end of the day.
If you have questions about this case or any other personal injury or premises liability matters in New York, contact an experienced personal injury today.
Photo Credit:Nathan Likert via Flikr