4 Students Burned At Maple Grove Junior High

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was published on Dec. 1, 2011.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — Four students were transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center for burns after a methanol experiment blew up at Maple Grove Junior High.

All the students, ninth graders, are currently in satisfactory condition. The experiment was being conducted by their ninth grade science teacher, Mr. Matt Achor.

Authorities say Achor was performing an experiment with a flammable liquid when the accident happened. It is not clear if the students suffered chemical burns or were burned by fire.

Fifteen-year-old Dane Neuberger got the worst of it and was still being treated at HCMC Thursday afternoon.

“My face was actually on fire,” said Neuberger.

Neuberger had a front seat to the demonstration when he said his teacher lit a match. Three other students surrounded him.

“He just took a jug of menthol and dropped a match in there. That’s like the last I know,” he said.

He said his face, neck and hand were all burned by fire. His teacher stopped it from spreading by using a fire blanket.

“I started screaming and he was on me fast to put the fire out and my shirt and face were on fire,” Neuberger said.

Some papers also started on fire, but Neuberger says they were put out with an extinguisher.

“We have crisis plans in place. We implement plans as it happens. We’re doing everything we can to bring the school back to normal,” said Barbara Olson, spokesperson of Osseo Area Schools.

The experiment was supposed to be a reward for the class for doing so well.

“When we got here he looked much, much worse, and you’re just beside yourself,” said Gus Neuberger, Dane’s dad.

He said he hopes the school learns a lesson.

“Some actual policy changes with some safety in the classroom with these experiments,” he said.

According to school officials, police and fire units were dispatched to the school to attempt to vent the room where the experiment took place.

Only the classroom where the incident occurred was evacuated. Authorities say neither the sprinklers or the fire alarms went off inside the classroom. The fire was put out with a blanket and fire extinguisher that is kept in the classroom.

No other classrooms were affected and school continued as planned. The other students who were in the classroom but were not harmed were sent home for the day, according to school officials.

Neuberger said his teacher did apologize as he waited for an ambulance.

The fire chief is investigating, but classes will go on as normal.

The school is located at 7000 Hemlock Lane in Maple Grove. Crisis managers were available at the school for students.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Nathon Johnson says:

    omgomgomg i go ther! i saw them! OMG SO CRZY

    1. Kat says:

      omgomgomg. rep your school by spelling correctly.

  2. Joe Girt says:

    The school didn’t even send home the kids that weren’t injured. They went to their next hour and cried the entire day.

    All the kids were realesed but one who had serious burns on his face.

  3. ... says:

    We didn’t get to go home after the accident we had to stay at school as everyone bombarded us with questions asking to know what happened…and one of the people who got burned got hit full in the face and has 2nd and 3rd degree burns and is still in the hospital

    1. kate says:

      Get over yourself. It is quite scary to see your friend get burned.

      1. jackactionhero says:

        I think it should be scary for the friend. You should just get on with your day and be supportive for your friend. It sounds like you really haven’t experienced almost anything in life, which is why this event is such a massive shock for you.

        Buckle up. Life has lots more scary things in store that blow this out of the water, no pun intended.

    2. jackactionhero says:

      How traumatized you must have been after having to ANSWER QUESTIONS.

      How dramatic of you…

  4. Anonymous, says:

    I can tell you that it wasn’t only the kids in that class who were traumatized.
    I had Science the hour after the incident in the classroom across from the class where the accident had occurred. Walking down the hallway towards the Science room’s was…scarey. People screaming is normal when it comes to Junior High hallways, but this was different. These kids were hysterical, and this was several minutes AFTER the event. People were crying and yelling and holding each other and all the while, I was just wondering what happened. When I rounded the corner to the science hallways you were bombarded with smoke; so heavy and thick it was as if I was walking through a blizzard. It felt so surreal, as I heard bits and pieces of what was going on from the others in the hallway. Fire, they said. People were on fire. Of course, we weren’t allowed to sit there and gawk at the room and they ushered in side our classrooms. My classroom was just across the hall, and out the window we watched as firemen and policemen came to investigate. That’s when I think it finally hit me. This was serious.
    The rest of the day was basically a blurred daze. Kids where bursting into tears sporadically, and no one was able to do much of anything productive. Luckily it is the end of the Trimester, so not much was needed to be done. I remember biting back tears as I listened to some of the younger kids (I’m in 9th grade) gossip about what the thought happened. They told bizarre stories of things that never happened. It was horrible and untrue, but the worst part was that there were people laughing about it. They thought it was FUNNY. Here’s a newsflash. There is nothing funny about burns. Nothing funny at all.
    So that’s my account of this. I felt torn about whether or not I should feel sad or scared, since I wasn’t in the class when the accident happened, but whether I should or should not is irrelevant since I can’t really decide my feelings. Looking back on this I’d say I was probably scared. Scared for myself, for my friends, and for those who were burned.

    1. Anonymous says:

      To the person who left the comment after this recount of the event. Don’t you dare say that this kid is looking for attention and that it wasn’t that traumatic unless you were one of the kids in the classroom or got burned. You have no idea what it was like to walk down those hallways, see the smoke so thick, and hearing kids talking about people being burned, and people crying and holding each other. Everything was so scary. You could never imagine how horrific this was.

      To the kid who wrote this whole story. Thank you. I am in your science class, the hour after it happened. Reading this, it brought it all back. It was like you were telling my whole story. I walked into that hallway, and the smoke kept getting thicker and thicker. I looked in the room, and you couldn’t see a single thing more than a foot in. Standing there, trying to process what could’ve happened. Hearing kids yelling and crying, telling stories of their classmates, our classmates, catching on fire. It was so unreal. Then, watching the firemen and policemen coming in. All of the administrators, and the principal. Watching to see what would happen next. That was all I could think about. Thank you for sharing this. It made me realize that I’m not alone. I wasn’t sure whether I should feel so sad since I wasn’t in that class, too. Everything was so shocking, lots of us were pretty quiet today. I’m scared for what’s going to happen.

      1. jackactionhero says:

        Kids are so dramatic. Bawling and being hysterical. I can already picture the girls hugging and crying in the hallways as they console each other for enduring such a horrific crisis. Give me a break. The faculty should have had an announcement or an assembly stating what happened and for the hysterical idiot kids to be quiet and go about their business. My god…

        1. P says:

          Good to know that there are still some compassionate people around the twin cities…

        2. Michael K says:

          dude. you have no idea what your talking about. I WAS THERE. I saw Dane come out of the room and Mr.Achor following him looking soo scared.

    2. cls says:

      As a teacher I understand that school is supposed to be a safe environment for students and everyone works to ensure that it is. Any time a student feels that their security has been taken from them it is tramatic. It does not matter what the occurence was.

      So let me make sure i understand you, someone has to die or be directly involved in an incident to be traumatized? Your comments are insensitive, please take time to rethink your philosophy

      1. agreeing says:

        best post put up so far. hope everyone has a speedy recovery.

    3. jarrett622 says:

      I’m sorry you all had to go through this and I hope the school is providing counseling for you kids. My heart goes out to all of you especially Dane. It took a lot of courage to write this but I suspect it may have helped you some. Keep writing about it if it helps you.

      1. Ben Yates says:

        So sorry for what you had to go through…
        It is heartening to see someone from 9th grade who can write so well, too…
        Wishing the best for those injured…

  5. AnonymouS says:

    I attend MGJH and from what i heard 1 person was burned quiet badly and few others were burned also. I belive it was a accident because he was rushed because he had a short period of time to do the experiment. (Heck of a way to end tri 1)

  6. J says:

    I hope not. Mr. Achor was my 9th grade science teacher 20 years ago, and was one of the most influential teachers I had.

    There aren’t a lot of teachers who can make make science interesting to a bunch of 13 yr olds, but Mr. Achor is one of them.

    1. ben says:

      He still is! he is my favorite teacher in the building. I am always looking forward to go to his class everyday

    2. G says:

      I had Mr. Achor last year, and I agree with you- he was a really good teacher and was very influential on me. He also kept the class very interesting and fun.

      1. V says:

        I was in Mr. Achor’s 9th grade science class 2nd hour when I first heard about the World Trade Center’s. He’s a great teacher. One of the best. I hope they keep him employed. He did the same experiment when I was part of his class too. I’m sure it was a total accident and I’m sure he is so sorry.

        1. N says:

          I also was in Mr. Achor’s class. My heart goes out to the families of the people involved, but also to Mr. Achor. He was a fantastic teacher and one of those who will always stick with you. He was always concerned about safety and he performed this same experiment for our class – as I’m sure he did hundreds of times before.

          Accidents happen. It’s tragic, but it’s just the nature of science experiments. It could have happened to anyone.

    3. K says:

      I had Achor about 6 years ago and he was an awful teacher. He thought so highly of him self, only taught us science fictions books that have nothing to do with anything (This was his HP class too) and pretty much looked down upon any person that had an opinion that conflicted with his. This doesn’t surprise me that this happened in his classroom.

      1. swell says:

        Actually, if you pay attention, science fiction books can teach a lot about scientific concepts, both in the way the authors properly apply the concept and in the ways they fail to apply them. Many colleges have at least one class that uses this strategy. Imagining what could happen if you successfully built a tesseract on a fault line can keep you entertained for many an afternoon.

      2. jackactionhero says:

        Only taught you science fiction books?

        Prove it.

        Let me guess. You had a reeeeeeeally bad grade in his class and you didn’t participate and didn’t do your homework. So you were a bad student is what the situation REALLY was. LOL

    4. P says:

      I hope they don’t fire Mr. Achor. I didn’t even have him as a science teacher, but I always looked up to him. The day after our classmate committed suicide, he saw me walking down the science hallway with tears in my eyes and stopped to say something. He must feel terrible right now but experiments like this are carried out in many high school classrooms. This was just a freak accident and a tragedy.

  7. Sandy says:

    Mr. Achor is a great teacher. Two of my kids had him and I trust him.

  8. everybody makes mistakes says:

    I am sorry for the injuries to students. This is absolutely unfortunate, and we live in a broken world with accidents. I also feel really feel bad for the science teacher. You are criticized for not doing enough, and now this teacher is helping to create an awesome learning opportunity for the class, and an accident happens. You criticize if teachers don’t go above and beyond, and you criticize when they do. You’ll never be happy. If you have never caused an accident, then you are misleading yourself. It happens to everyone.

    1. G says:

      I had Mr. Achor as a teacher, and I feel bad for him too. I also hope all the students recover

    2. ScarFace says:

      In this experiment we will teach you how to barbecue someones face and not go to jail for your carelessness.

      1. jackactionhero says:

        Not go to jail? So you think the science teacher should be sent to prison? Why don’t we just drag him out into the streets and beat him with clubs? You, sir, are an idiot.

  9. Anonymous, says:

    Science is a very unpredictable thing. Why do you assume Mr. Achor did something wrong and should be fired for it? It was his quick thinking with the fire blanket that made sure the fire was put out quickly that caused Dane’s burns to be “severe” instead of “life threatening”… Firing him seems unnecessary.

    1. Dylan says:

      Dropping a match into methanol seems pretty predictable to me. I’m betting that Mr. Achor even predicted that there would be a fire. He misjudged how big the fire was going to be, putting himself and students in danger. FIRE HIM

      1. Quick to Judge says:

        Menthol Vs. Methanol. Read the story, you are wrong

        1. Maul says:

          Wow you’re stupid. It was methanol, the menthol was an obvious typo/misquote.

  10. Mary Payson says:

    Supposedly the school said “The other students who were in the classroom but were not harmed were sent home for the day”,,Now we have teenagers from that class saying they weren’t sent home?..Seriously,If this school didn’t send them home and also offer counseling to any teens this accident affected there is a serious problem with this school..So who is lying here,the teens,the school or the media?

    1. Anonymous, says:

      Well, students had the option of going home if they seemed emotionally unstable. So some were sent home, some weren’t, but the school okay-ed it. So nobody’s lying to you.

    2. Smarter than a Junior High kid says:

      Relax, Mary. Find me a junior high kid who ISN’T emotionally unstable. I’m sure there were those who had a hard time with it, but it’s not as if any of them died. Most junior high kids I know would have just used this as an excuse to get out of school. If you wan’t to believe everything junior high kids tell you on a public blog, I guess that’s your business. But don’t use that as a basis of acusations against the school.

    3. mom says:

      I have a child at “said school” this is a terrific school and district!! Furthermore, the students were offered counseling, anyone who wanted it, and the kids were not allowed to leave school unless they were injured or their parent chose to pull them out. They were given the option to call their parents. Really, pull kids out who weren’t injured, why? what for? school goes, it is too bad about this situation but things happen.

      1. Come on now! says:

        Agreed!! Pulling kids out would make the whole situation worse. This age group feeds off of attention. We were all this age, I am not saying it is a bad thing. It is something this age group does. They blow everything out of proportion. The kids who were hurt or in the classroom where it happened should of went home. Other than that, get to class.

        1. A ninth grade student at MGJH says:

          I’m sorry that you think we blow things out of proportion, feed off of attention, and we shouldn’t be shaken up by this incident. Read the accounts above, near the beginning, and I hope that you will understand what was going on in our minds today. If you still believe the said things, then I am sorry that’s the case, but open your mind a bit. Students had the option to leave school today, because many of us were really shaken up by what had happened. What if your best friend was one of the students sent to HCMC, but you weren’t in the class. Wouldn’t you have been so scared that you couldn’t pay attention in class, and you were crying? Now do you think we are looking for attention?

          1. jackactionhero says:

            “Wouldn’t you have been so scared that you couldn’t pay attention in class, and you were crying?”

            No. Of course not. I’m an adult. You are a child. That’s the difference here.

            That’s why it was stated kids your age are emotionally unstable by breakfast, and you blow things out of proportion.

            I once had a coworker dragged out of the bathroom convulsing with foam spraying out of his mouth as he shook like Michael Jackson at the Petting Zoo.

            I didn’t even take a break from my work. Neither did anybody else that saw it happen.

            Yes. You are looking for attention. It’s not all your fault. Your brains aren’t going to be fully developed and worth a darn for another entire decade, and then some.

        2. Anonymous, says:

          Thats a stereo type right there. Apparently my age group “craves attention”? Well I stayed in school? And Ive been commenting under “anonymous,”… What does that say about me?

          1. Callie says:

            I was going to go with “cowardice,” but sure.

      2. Elsepth Shane says:

        Well then, when your child gets depress and tries to hurt/kill themselves because they witnessed their school mate or worse, good friend “get blown up” right before their eyes, “its too bad about [the] situation but things happen”

        lady, you have no compassion and clearly do not understand ANYTHING about how young teenage brains work. When a suicide occurs in a teen peer group, without significant interventions from schools and parents, it becomes contagious. When there is a mass casualty event, which this qualifies as, young teens internalize…even if they were no direct victims. This school will likely experience mass depression, anxiety, grade loss, reduction in standardized test scores, reduction in recorded IQ point and a whole host of other issues. For the most traumatized students, even those not directly harmed, there will be self harm, and yes even incidences of suicide as a result of phenomena like “survivors guilt.”

        So, you can be cavalier, but when your child is dead or locked in the psych ward because you blew off this incident as not a big deal, it WILL be YOUR FAULT.

        1. Me says:

          This wasn’t a suicide and is completely different from suicide. It was a scary situation that could have been much worse. If kids or family members think they need to get psychiatric help for themselves or their child, then by all means do so! But you are a fool if you don’t think that teens feed off attention. Every teen does it. I did it, you did it, some more than others. Its an age group thing. If you don’t believe it go back to college and study youth development. I have a BHS in Human Services with a focus in adolescent corrections, a minor in criminal justice and working toward my masters.

        2. jackactionhero says:

          Gets depressed and tries to hurt/kill themselves?

          HAHAHAHAHA

          A kid is going to get depressed and kill himself after seeing a science experiment cause a burn?

          Are you serious? Someone is going to use this event as an excuse to destroy their lives?

          You need help. You should probably be in a strait jacket already, after reading that idiotic comment.

  11. Will says:

    I am a former student of Mr Achor, having been in his advanced science class back in 2006. Of the dozens of teachers I had in district 279, he is by far one of the best.
    In class he challenges his students to think in unconventional ways, inspiring creativity and genuine interest in the subject matter. Even in the light of this event, I would completely stand behind his teaching methods.

    I wish Dane a speedy recovery and also hope my jr. high alma matter does not overreact in anyway that would deprive students of one of the school’s greatest teachers.

    1. ScarFace says:

      “I would completely stand behind his teaching methods.” — Um, yeah, Behind being the key here… then your face wont be burned off like his student two-face in the above image.

  12. Nancy Aleshire says:

    I majored in chemistry and biology in college and was employed as a chemical lab technician for the power company in Mpls. I don’t recall even having chemistry when in junior high. They are much too young to be working with dangerous substances. Methanol is methyl alcohol and all alcohols are highly flammable. I put full responsibility on the teachers and my heart goes out to Dane.

    1. Seth Benjamin Thompson says:

      I don’t know Dane personally and I don’t know the others but I sure as hell seen em at MGJH. I don’t think Mr.Achor should loose his job, considering the fact that he didnt a fire blanket and probably saved Dane’s life (not to mention he went to visit Dane), but responsibility should be put on him. The other kids, other than Dane, who got burnt and the kids who had to watch all this happen are in my prayers. I think MGJH handled this well.

    2. G says:

      I had Mr. Achor last year, and we never really used methanol as a part of an experiment. We did use methanol once, but it was in small amounts, and safety was a high concern. The accident occured during a demonstration, and all demonstrations (no matter how dangerous they were), the front two rows of the class had to go to the back of the classroom. When he did this demonstration (if its the same one he showed us last year), he put a safety shield in between the demonstration and the rest of the students. I do hope Dane will be ok, and will be able to get back to school soon.

    3. Amy says:

      It is not a chemistry class, and us students were not doing the experiment. The teacher had done this experiment for a few years, and it was his 2nd class in which this happened, in his first class the experiment worked as planned. This was part of what he called the ‘fun final’. He was showing us demos and we wrote about what he did for our final for the end of the trimester. The experiment did not work as well as he wished with his first try, and this happened on his second, just to clear details up for you that we were not involved in the experiment.

    4. will says:

      I wasn’t in the class but I have had Mr Achor in the past. When Methanol has been used in the class, it’s been Mr Achor demonstrating, not letting the students work with it themselves. To Mr Achor’s additional credit, it sounds like he had the proper safety equipment at the ready and was efficient and effective in using it when something went wrong.

    5. Anonymous, says:

      You are placing the actions of one teacher and criticizing an entire group of people. That is a stereotype, if I remember what I learned in English this morning…

    6. Molly says:

      I agree with your comment Nancy. I’ll add: a science teacher of 20 yrs should of known what would occur. I realize accidents happen in this world but I’m sorry this is inexcusable and yes the teacher is totally responsible. My prayers for that young man for a speedy&full recovery.

      1. The New Generation says:

        huh with all that knowledge and superiority of perfection in never MISJUDGING or making any mistakes, why dont you and nancy become science teachers? keep things fun and interesting for 13+ year olds. The whole generational gap of children shouldnt be learning chemistry Im sorry, but theres much more to learn and faster developments and educational programs now a days than even 5 to 10 years ago, kids are learning faster as mankind becomes more technilogically advanced. As this happends trial and error occur, THAT is science as well… welcome to the new generation.

        1. Mr. S the science guy says:

          I am a science teacher in a Middle School and have performed this demonstration many times; the kids typically love it and is it awesome for higher level thinking. Like so many things in life, accidents can and will happen. This is a tragedy, and I feel for the kids, the school and the instructor. We cannot criticize anyone involved in this when we do not know the whole story. Chemistry is not part of the Middle School education, but physical science is. Nothing should happen to this instructor; he was prepared for accidents, and acted fast and prevented possibly more serious injuries.
          If we just teach our students by lecture or video, we will never succeed in truly teaching them anything in science, this is a field full of hands on learning and demonstrating. Anyone who complains about this knows nothing about education.

          1. jackactionhero says:

            Amen to that, Mr. S, the Science Guy.

    7. jackactionhero says:

      “They are much too young to be working with dangerous substances.”

      Learn to read, Nancy. Your comments are downright embarrassing.

      The kids were WATCHING, not “working with.” Kind of a big difference there…

  13. G says:

    I hope he doesn’t get fired. He was a really good teacher, and has been teaching for a very long time (forgot how many years). From what I know, Mr. Achor reacted really fast to stop the fire, and prevented it from spreading on a student with a fire blanket. I had him last year, and I don’t think that he should be fired.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I Attend MGJH Nd I Wass Just Getting Out Of Math Class Going To My Locker Then It Smelt Like Something Was Burning But I Had Not Seen The Smoke Until One Of My Friends Told Me That My Other Friend Was Crying Because Her Friend Got Burned During The Incident. I Felt Really Bad About This Just Seeing So Many People Crying And So Many People Were Making Stories Up. And Some Of The Sevies Were Being To Conceded That They Were Even Laughing About The Incident But If It Was Them I Bet They Wouldnt Like If Somebody Was Laughing At The Them. And I Hope The People That Got Hurt Get Better (:

  15. Annyonomous says:

    My school is OakView, the school (kind of) across from thhere. thats sad and NOT funny

  16. Nik says:

    Terrible, terrible accident. I watched this experiment in my 1st hour with Mr. Achor, and when I saw the results of it, I felt something just didn’t feel right, and that something could go wrong.. Never did I expect this! I feel so bad for the kids I can’t even explain how much I would want to reverse time to save them from this horrid experience. I also feel bad for Achor, if it were not for him then Dane could have had his whole face burned off.. Achor does not need to be fired, but he needs to have some form of punishment because if this experiment was not LEGAL by school standards, then he could be in serious trouble..

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Except it WAS legal, so now what? Serious trouble? LOL

      Kids are so goony. Youth is truly wasted on the young.

  17. Sean Nelson Strube says:

    people make mistakes ,if u can look in a mirror and tell yourself truthfully that i’ve never done wrong to anything or anyone in my life then you can say whatever you please; i’ve had 3rd degree burns it hurts i’m not taking anything away from dane, but i’m guarentee you weather achor gets fired or not he will apologize with deep sincerity

  18. Jeremy says:

    This was such a terrible terrible accident that has transpired. I kept hearing about what happened during third hour and all I could say was “what.” I have fourth hour with Mr. Krinke who’s classroom is next to Mr. Achor’s. It was like a crime scene by Mr. Achor’s class their were many police man and fire man surrounding it. When I got into Mr. Krinke’s class I could still smell the smoke. I also saw the fire trucks and police cars in the bus parking lot. At the end of the day I was talking to Rachel. I got into the car and as I was leaving the school I saw the news crews. I told him to turn around. I went back into school. I told Rachel about all the news crews and we ran to the front of the building. I hope Dane, Courtney and the two other kids that got burned get well soon.

  19. Katelyn says:

    This was just a scary event to hear. All the kids in that class are probably all just tramuatized about it, it’s what i have been hearing all day. I go to that school. Just a scary thought to think about… Seeing all the smoke covering the hallways, I was worried and saw Randi after it happened and i was sad. So dont be hard on these kids. They deserve a chance to let it all out. Good luck Mr. Achor to whatever may come to you… And Dane, Jared, Courtney, and Randi, may you all be safe and healthy and recover.

  20. Kalah says:

    I had the pleasure of being a student of Mr. Achor about 11 years ago. He is an amazing teacher who brings science to life. Mr. Achor has to ability to reach a relatively uninterested age group with his stories, demonstrations and unique projects. My heart goes out to the injured students but a fluke accident should not result in the termination of a briliiant teacher who has captivated the minds and triggered an interest in science for many, many years.

    1. Larry says:

      well, i would hardly call this a ‘fluke accident’. It is appauling this happened and yes this teacher is absolutely to be held accountable for his irresponsible actions. A seasoned science teacher no less, he should of known what would happen. Fire him ? perhaps, but at least punishment (drop in salary maybe).

      1. chubbybunny says:

        a fluke is something that happends that doesnt usually happen, sounds like this guys been teaching for a few decades and has not had a negative result like this to this experiment before, other teachers show this demonstration and you’ve not heard much of others having the same result.. hence a FLUKE, give the guy a break.

      2. jackactionhero says:

        A drop in salary? That isn’t how that works, Larry.

        If you people are representative of the intellect of Minnesotans, I can see why that state is so backwards.

  21. cassandra says:

    Ahh Mr. Achor. I had him as my science teacher back in the day. He was always pouring down methanol and lighting it on fire. I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. I’m surprised that it took this long. Very nice guy, but kinda loopy.

  22. Barbara Chambers says:

    I have a younger sibling that attends MGJH and I had Mr. Achor for an afterschool program years ago and I’ve gotta say… the guy is a little out there but a terrific science teacher. All this is is an unfortunate accident. My condolences to the parents of injured students, but most of all – Mr. Achor is in my heart. He is so passionate about his career and his students, and gave me a second chance at learning.
    I know he has just got to be feeling rotten tonight, so if he finds himself reading any comments… please know that I am rooting for you!!

    1. P says:

      Agree 100% with you Barbara!

  23. Kevin says:

    The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!!!

    1. kate says:

      Have anything useful to add? Yea, seeing it is Kevin, I shouldn’t have expected anything.

  24. A 10th grade student says:

    I had Mr. Achor last year, and I remember him performing an experiment very similar to what was described. During that experiment, he put safety glass up to protect us, and then we would walk outside around the school until the smoke cleared up.

    I didn’t like this teacher because several times he would completely ignore the rules. During the GRAD writing test last school year, he allowed us to talk to each other during the test, which was totally against the rules.

    Additionally, he’s a very liberal teacher that would constantly talk about politics in his class. He would constantly tell us one sided political information, such as constantly trying to tell us that global warming was fact, and he even made us read The Time Machine for his science class, which is a biased and anti-capitalism book.

    I don’t think he should be fired for this, but he should of been fired last April when he would let us talk during the GRAD writing test.

    1. ~J~ says:

      “Additionally, he’s a very liberal teacher that would constantly talk about politics in his class. He would constantly tell us one sided political information, such as constantly trying to tell us that global warming was fact, and he even made us read The Time Machine for his science class, which is a biased and anti-capitalism book.”

      It’s very sad that this happened but it was an accident. Accidents happen in science and it sounds like the teacher reacted the correct way and probably saved the kids life.

      AND the above poster is an idiot. The teacher is not “liberal” for thinking global warming is a fact / liking a classic book like The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. I think its funny that a 10th grader in High School wote this….. Get over yourself and grow up…..

      1. ScarFace says:

        Shut your trap bcith! OR I WILL SHUT IT FOR YOU!!

  25. PB says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the students injured and those who witnessed this tragedy. I especially am concerned for Mr. Achor who must be feeling horrific guilt. This has got to be a science teacher’s worst nightmare. I hope he knows there are people in the community who are also praying for him.

  26. S. Bombay says:

    Lighting methanol in a classroom is insane. If the teacher had an ounce of shame, he would immediately resign. You do not need to do pyro demos in a classroom to be a “cool” teacher. The net result was a student with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to the face with permanent scaring.The school spokesperson sounded like a soulless robot programmed by lawyers.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      It’s been done countless times without incident. It’s really not that dangerous of a demonstration when done correctly.

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll pretend to be surprised….

  27. Megan Schroeder says:

    i dont think he should be fired!!!!!!! i mean i was an accidental fire . it was unnintentional! and you have know idea what they went through and what Mr. Achor is going through he probably feels horrified at himself for attempting the trick andi dont think you should be judgeing him right now. its hard enough to burn a child but its worse to have people feel that you are the causse and you should be the one in the hostpital!
    LIKE I SAID! it was an accidental fire. and im not even in his class and i still dont think he should be fired.

  28. Ben says:

    I was a student of Mr. Achor’s about 14 years ago. He is an amazing teacher, and always took safety precautions when doing demonstrations. I remember him showing us this same demonstration, and I never felt unsafe. Prayers go out to the injured, and to Mr. Achor, as I’m sure he feels horribly about what happened.

  29. Gus Neuberger says:

    Thank you everyone for your support and kind words, Dane appreciates it very much, Dane is concerned for all of his classmates that were injured and or involved and wishes them a speedy recovery.
    Thank You,
    Gus Neuberger
    Danes Father

  30. Cat says:

    If he didn’t do the experiment behind safety glass and if he didn’t make sure students were a sufficient distance away from where the experiment would be taking place, I agree with you. A teacher who ignores safety protocols should be fired.

    However, if he did follow all appropriate safety protocols and this still happened because of another reason, then he should just be reprimanded but still allowed to teach.

  31. Corbit says:

    There are experiments that are not uncommon that involve ignition of methanol. I’m guessing he was doing a “green fire” demonstration. Unfortunately, almost any experiment in a chemistry class can be dangerous if proper precautions are not followed. Even when the proper precautions are taken accidents can happen due to faulty equipment. I don’t think anyone should be calling for a teacher to be fired until the exact cause of the accident is known.

    1. Lanny says:

      I doubt the equipment was ‘faulty’. my guess is the only thing truely faulty was this teachers brain and common sense. he was careless and not thinking. we pray the students injured recover soon and nothing permenant results.

    2. Megan Schroeder says:

      @corbit
      i agree with you , My friend has Mr. Achor and she was writing and essay out in the hall when this had happend. she said that he always does this for a class every year.(idk if this is true) but he does this is smaller amounts.
      and everyone is blowing his state of mind out of proportion. he is a completly sane man.

      1. marlis says:

        and your grammer and sentence structure is terrible…you’re how old?? what are kids really learning these days??

        1. Megan Schroeder says:

          its called not being at school so i do know proper grammer thank you very much!

        2. jackactionhero says:

          Marlis, you failed to capitalize the beginning word of your sentence as you criticized the kid for bad sentence structure.

          Also, it’s spelled “grammar.”

          How embarrassing for you!

  32. mel says:

    I think the entire class, aside from those injured, should have been pulled from school. It’s one thing to see something happen on tv, but an entirely different thing to have it happen in front of you. Imagine seeing the flames, hearing the screams, and smelling burning flesh. Some probably suffered from shock. I saw the interview of the boy, and I have to say, I was very impressed. His parents should be very proud to have a son who experienced such trauma, and could still compose himself for an interview. I wish him well, and pray he will fully recover. But, even if he has scars, he will probably be successful in life. Lots of people suffer misfortuned and accidents through no fault of their own. It’s what you do with the rest of your life that counts.

    1. Megan Schroeder says:

      Agreed

    2. jackactionhero says:

      Why? I didn’t find any of your reasons to be valid.

      I think some of you have never experienced anything at all in life, and that is why something as small as this shocks you so much.

  33. Megan Schroeder says:

    for all u stipid people out there.
    just because you think that somthing happend doesnt mean its true.
    Yes Dane was burned. that is true, but that doesnt mean that Mr. Achor didnt take saftey procedures to a higher level.
    If you know nothing about gas and fire mixed together, if it explodes i can go farther away from its starting point.
    and another thing they have more procations than you know.
    im in 7 grade science and they make you have your parents sign a form. and they go over every thing in the room and what it does, how it works, wen you would use it, and if there should be an emergancy they go over everything there is to know! so before you go acusing people of something, check your facts, so you dont sound stupid!

  34. ThankfulToNotBeInJrHigh says:

    Based on what I’ve seen posted here, it looks like the entire English department of MGJH should be fired, since it appears that most of the current students who commented here are illiterate.

    I was in Matt Achor’s class in the mid 1990’s, and he was one of the best teachers I ever had. I still remember his cheezy rhymes during the morning announcements, calculating how fast the speeders were going down Hemlock Lane, and the time he shot me across the gym with a giant rubber band and a rolling office chair.

  35. Kevin says:

    what a bunch of whimps we put kids in the MICROWAVE

  36. Ziggy says:

    Better get a greedy lawyer!

  37. Duckmanbill says:

    I have a PhD in Chemistry. There is no ‘experiment’ that calls for dropping a lit match into a container of highly flammable liquid. Mr Anchor will be losing his job methinks.

    1. G says:

      Search “Combustion of Methanol Alcohol” in youtube and it will show a demonstration which involves igniting the vapors of liquid methanol in a water jug.

    2. jackactionhero says:

      Send back your degree. It’s obviously worth nothing.

  38. RussnDD says:

    Methanol? or Menthol? Conflicting info here.

    1. G says:

      Yeah it is kinda confusing- but it was methanol

  39. bubba says:

    I wonder if gasoline would have been safer? Hey….. a NEW experiment for next semester!

  40. ScarFace says:

    You’re doing so well in class, I would like to barbecue your face as a reward. This will teach you how to safely barbecue a face in the future.

  41. Mike C says:

    Reading all this about what happened leads me to one conclusion…the teacher was experienced and motiviated to push his students to higher levels of learning. He has a great following and his students respect him. The accident was just that, an accident. No matter what else you believe, the greatest men and women in science make mistakes. Some small, some not so small. But accidents are part of everyday living. We do our best to minimize them, BUT THEY DO HAPPEN. This teacher should be held responsible….without a doubt, but!! He did as he felt was safe and unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

    Some reading this need to get off thier high horses, come down to earth and stop trying to be judge, jury and executioner. The teaching profession is hard enough given the state of today’s society. Degrading or demeaning a teacher who, right or wrong, was doing his best to teach YOUR children isn’t right. The rule I’ve always followed is to praise in public, but criticise in private. By outing this teacher (whom I do not know, but my daughter is a teacher) in public just shows me how much faith (I’m not talking regilious faith) you have in the system.

    As far as I’m concerned…this teacher did what he thought was a good science lesson that went wrong. Get off his back and support him for trying to teach YOUR kid. Elementary, middle or high school….these kids aren’t craving attention or anything of the sort. They are dealing with facts and issues as best as they can. Being a parent and grand parent, I know that it takes a special person to teach and that those that do have the welfare and educational needs of YOUR child at heart…back them or sit down, shut up and learn yourself…

    This teacher is putting himself through hell enough for all of us because what he did injured a child…leave him alone, support him or think what you may…BUT GET OFF HIS BACK…

    Nuff said…

  42. K B Roskos says:

    This could have been prevented. There was a similar accident at a private school North of Akron Ohio, sadly the young woman who was injured has had a life changing experience. Her burns were disfiguring.

    Methanol is an extremely flammable liqiud with a flash point of about 52°F. When used in an unvented area fumes can build up very quickly; add a match and you can have a real problem in an instant. From the description in the article, this was a flash fire from the fumes and possibly some of the liquid splashed out to set the papers on fire.

    Bottom line is this type of experiment should only be done in a chemical fume hood that has constant ventilation, never on a benchtop in the general lab.

    I am speaking from 44 years of Chemical Reasearch and Development experience.

    My prayers go out to the students and the teacher.

  43. SciGuy says:

    A high school teacher dropped a golf ball size piece of sodium metal into an aquarium and watched it break up into many smaller pieces as it was blasted out of the aquarium onto the students and the floor of the classroom. The entire wing of classrooms was evacuated and sent home. A middle school teacher was adding some methanol to a small fire in a beaker on a desk when the flame from the fire followed the stream of methanol up and into the can from which it was being poured. Flames and methanol was sprayed onto students in the first several rows of desks. After these two incidents the Superintendent told science teachers that if anything like this happened again, they would lose their jobs forever. Both teachers here were suspended without pay for 60 days and lucky none of their students were injured.

  44. DHNC says:

    those poor students. they don’t derserve being burned.

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