The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA

The Californian

Student sprayed by fire extinguisher improving

Photo by Liam Siu

Photo by Liam Siu

John Symank, Staff Writer

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A junior boy was back to school and doing better after being sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher last Friday afternoon.

The boy, who is not being named because he is the victim of a possible crime, said he was walking to his class on the second floor of the main building, when he saw the suspect take a fire extinguisher out of his backpack. The suspect, a sophomore boy, then began spraying the stairwell between the first and second floor near the event center.

When the victim told the suspect to stop, the suspect allegedly turned around and discharged the extinguisher into his face. The victim, who has asthma, was unable to breathe and ran outside of the building. He immediately threw up, but was able to breathe soon after receiving an inhaler from one of his teachers.

The victim said he was on poison control watch for 48 hours after this incident. He said his family was unable to pay for his hospital expenses so he was monitored at home on bed rest.

“[The suspect] didn’t know what was in [the fire extinguisher] that might have killed me,” the victim said. “I was passing in and out of consciousness just going down the stairs.”

The victim announced to his choir class on Monday that he might also require surgery on his lungs to remove any powder from the fire extinguisher that might have settled. He said that his parents are planning on pressing charges against the suspect, who has not been on campus this week. It could not be confirmed with the San Ramon police department that the suspect has been arrested.

Many students have said the suspect has been expelled from school, but all expulsions need to be approved by the school board through a formal hearing.

According to the California Education Code Section 48915, a principal shall recommend the expulsion of a pupil for any of the following acts committed at school, or at a school activity off school grounds: (1) causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self defense, (2) possession of any knife, explosive, or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil, (3) unlawful possession of any controlled substance with some exceptions in the case of first offenses of possession of no more than one ounce of marijuana, (4) robbery and extortion, and (5) assault or battery upon any school employee.

In the case of mandatory expulsions, where a student must be immediately suspended and then recommended for expulsion, they must have committed any of the following acts: (1) possessing, selling, or otherwise furnishing a firearm, (2) brandishing a knife at another person, (3) unlawfully selling a controlled substance, (4) committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing a sexual battery, and (5) possession of an explosive.

The incident last Friday capped a chaotic week in which students were evacuated to the football field three times after fire alarms were pulled or fire extinguishers were discharged.

Students who didn’t have classes in the main building were forced to stay on the football field for about 30 minutes. Students who had classes on the first and third floors of the main building were allowed to return to class after about 40 minutes, while students with classes on the second floor, where the fire extinguisher was discharged, returned with about 30-40 minutes remaining in class.

Last week there were a total of five fire alarms activated in some way, but only four led to evacuations. On Sept. 28, the fire alarm was triggered once lunch ended and again during sixth period. Students were evacuated to the football field for the first alarm, but were called back when heading toward the football field during the second alarm.  

The alarm was also activated on Sept. 27, between A and first periods after a student discharged a fire extinguisher on the second floor. Most students missed 30-40 minutes of class time, but those on the second floor didn’t return to class until the end of the period. There was also a fire alarm pulled after school on Sept. 26. Students were already leaving campus and were not evacuated.

Editor in chief Ingrid Lam contributed to this story.

 

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Student sprayed by fire extinguisher improving