A Skyview High School freshman was sentenced Friday to 15 days in Clark County Juvenile Detention for bringing a toxic mixture of chemicals to school on Jan. 24 and exposing other students and staff.
Nine people, including two adults and seven teenagers, had to be treated at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center for respiratory distress and were discharged the same day.
“It was supposed to be a joke,” said Deputy Prosecutor Rick Olson. “He was trying to be funny. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. Sometimes, kids do stupid things, and that was one of them.”
Court Commissioner Terry Vetter also sentenced the boy, 14, to an additional seven days in detention for selling marijuana in a separate Dec. 10 case.
The boy pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and reckless endangerment for the chemical exposure, and to delivery of a controlled substance for the marijuana sale.
In addition to confinement, the teen is required to do 64 hours of community service, do 12 months’ community supervision and pay about $400 in court fees, when the three sentences are totaled.
Court records indicate the boy apparently mixed bleach and ammonia in a container at home and brought it to the high school. He asked two students in a second-period class to inhale the concoction. One of the students pushed the container away, causing it to spill on a third student, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The spill exposed others to the noxious fumes.
A hazardous materials team from the Vancouver Fire Department was called in. Sheriff’s deputies investigated the incident and arrested the boy.
Vancouver Public Schools officials ordered an emergency expulsion of the boy.
The school wing where the classroom is located was evacuated, but school remained in session, according to school officials.
Bleach mixed with ammonia produces toxic gases that can irritate eyes, skin and the respiratory system. It also can eat away mucous lining in the lungs.
Patty Hastings contributed to this story.