School Administrators Suspend Teachers For Teaching ‘Dangerous’ Science And Boy For Making Hydrogen Bomb At Home
IS there a fear of youth? The LA Times reports on the trials of science teacher Greg Schiller, now suspended because two of his students made projects that “appeared dangerous to administrators”. Rogan and Susan Ferguson say district officials confiscated their son Asa’s science fair project, “Evolution of a Coil Gun.”
One project used compressed air to propel a small object but it was not connected to a source of air pressure, so it could not have been fired. (In 2012, President Obama tried out a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow 175 feet.)
Another project used the power from an AA battery to charge a tube surrounded by a coil. When the ninth-grader proposed it, Schiller told him to be more scientific, to construct and test different coils and to draw graphs and conduct additional analysis, said his parents, who also are Los Angeles teachers.
A school employee saw the air-pressure project and raised concerns about what looked to her like a weapon, according to the teachers union and supporters. Schiller, who said he never saw the completed projects except in photos, was summoned and sent home. Both projects were confiscated as “evidence,” said Susan Ferguson, whose son did the coil project.
This type of idiocy has form. In 2002, a middle school students at a Long Beach, California, school was overheard discussing his science fair project.
The student was planning on making the plastic hydrogen bomb as a science project. Because he said it was a bomb, he was suspended from school and the principle deemed his project to be an implied threat. The school even called the police to investigate the bomb and the student’s house was raided by the police. The police found nothing and attached a copy of the web site to the report.
The police letter was epic:
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT INCIDENT REPORT
Suspicious Circumstances: Possible Posession of a Destructive Device
B. Allen, Employee #434180
I contacted [the principal] regarding a suspicious circumstances call, tag 627.
[The principal] said about one week ago she heard [the student] talking to a group of students at Hoover Middle School. [The principal] said she heard [the student] say he was building a bomb.
On 02-27-02 [the principal] approached [the student] and asked him if he was really building a bomb. [The student] told her that he was building a hydrogen bomb and his parents were buying the materials to make it for him.
[The principal] said [the student] never threatened to bring the bomb to school or harm anyone with it.
With the help of assisting units I responded to [the boy’s address] and searched the residence for any explosive device and materials for its manufacturing (see attached consent to search form authorized by [the student’s] father [father’s name]).
We were unable to locate any explosive device or manufacturing materials.
I contacted [the student] and asked him if he remembered telling anyone he was making a hydrogen bomb.
[The student] said he did tell people he was making a hydrogen bomb. He said he was making a hydrogen bomb toy from scitoys.com. The toy squirts water out of a hole when it’s ignited via 9 volt battery.
[The student] printed out the details of the hydrogen bomb off scitoys.com. See attached 12 page printout.
After examining the scitoys.com printout I came to the conclusion the hydrogen bomb [the student] said he was making was in fact a toy.
Watch Commander, Lt. Stringham, notified of the above.
Who put the imbeciles in charge?