It's worse than that. This teacher was not licensed. No requirement at charter schools. Above that, he was 22 years old. My son will be 22 when he graduates, so this would have been his first year on the job, unless he graduated early.
Why wasn't the educator taught fundamental laboratory safety? The answer to that is simple, Leslie:
Colorado does not require an academic major in the subjects being taught. From the Colorado Department of Education site on initial licensure of teachers:
An Initial Teacher License requires that an applicant submit his/her legal name, address and social secuirty number. Once these criteria are met, an initial license may be issued to an applicant who (among other things, HJE):
=B7 Has demonstrated professional competencies in the subject areas by completing 24 semester hours of course credit as demonstrated through transcript evaluation, or passage of the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content assessment relevant to the area of endorsement sought.
Yes - that's right - 24 hours in your area of "endorsement." The last time I checked, Gen Chem/Organic with labs was 16 of those hours. Fill that up with courses like "Seminar" and "Environmental chemistry" or "Chemistry for educators" and you can get 24 hours pretty quickly.
I was none-too-pleased about this when I wrote the March/April 2014 JCHAS editorial.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Leslie Coop
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Colorado methanol fire case
Perhaps someone should ask the school he went to why he wasn't taught chemical safety procedures.
On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Ralph Stuart <rstuartcih**At_Symbol_Here**me.com> wrote:
I was struck the story in this morning's headlines that the Former Colorado Teacher was charged with four counts of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor in the methanol demonstration lab explosion that occurred last month.
This seems much more likely to set a precedent than the UCLA fire, which was based on labor law specific to California. I hope that people who are in Colorado will let us know how this case proceeds, as it's not uncommon for these stories to fall off the press's radar.
Leslie Coop, MS, CCHO, CHMM
Chemical Hygiene Officer/ Stockroom Manager
Willamette University - 900 State Str - Salem, Oregon 97301
lcoop**At_Symbol_Here**willamette.edu - (501) 590-6026
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