This is one of those cases where I wish I lived close enough to the school to go to the school and offer a chemical safety presentation to the kids and the teachers!
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**med.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 7:44 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Science class chemical sends two students to hospital
Fires aren't the only things happening with chemicals in high schools-
BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - A middle school science teacher is on paid leave and two students have been suspended for something that sent two kids to the hospital according to Bernalillo Public Schools Superintendent Allan Tapia.
Bernalillo Middle School students were one day away from celebrating the end of the school year.
Sixth grader Ricquie Tarango, 11, said two boys offered her and another girl candy during class time on Tuesday.
"They put me three drops right here," Ricquie said pointing to her hand.
She said she and her friend licked it off their hands.
"It felt like my tongue was going to fall off, and it just felt horrible," Ricquie said. "I didn't know what to do. I was scared."
The liquid came from an unlabeled bottle.
She said one of the boys told her it was acid, then said he was just joking.
"Where it was on my hand, it was really yellow," Ricquie said. "That is when I started getting scared, and I got a major headache after that."
The school called Poison Control and an ambulance took both girls to the hospital.
Ricquie said the chemical turned out to be copper chloride.
"A [science] teacher from Bernalillo Mid School had asked a couple of boys, ages 12 and 13, to discard some containers, some boxes," said Bernalillo Police Chief Tom Romero. "Apparently in the process, our understanding is, the two boys took some chemicals from these containers and kept them."
"I don't understand how that teacher could give little students that poison or whatever for them to dispose of it," said Oralia Montoya, Ricquie's grandma.
Montoya rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after hearing about the incident.
"Angry, that's where I was. Angry, very angry about things happening here at the school," Montoya said.
Bernalillo Police and the school are investigating.
"I don't know if this was a prank or what the intent was, but like the parent, I am disappointed in the entire matter," Superintendent Tapia said.
He said the boys deny offering the chemical to the girls.
"I thought those boys were my friends," Ricquie said. "I didn't know they would actually do that to me."
Ricquie got out of the hospital on Wednesday. She and her friend are expected to be okay.
Bernalillo Police are forwarding the case to the District Attorney's office.
"The District Attorney's office will review it and make a determination if there's any actual criminal intent involved," Chief Romero said.
Reports of a similar case came out just last week in Rio Rancho.
Two Eagle Ridge Middle Schoolers are accused of pouring a substance into other students' drinks in a chemistry class.
Those students may face criminal charges.
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