Southwest Missouri teacher faces firing following mercury spill

Friday, September 4, 2009 | 8:51 a.m. CDT; updated 9:25 a.m. CDT, Friday, September 4, 2009

SPRINGFIELD — A southwest Missouri teacher could be fired after bringing a container of mercury to school that later spilled, forcing the school to be closed for a day.

Forsyth School District Superintendent Brent Blevins told the Springfield News-Leader that the school board plans a termination hearing for sixth-grade teacher Michael Ragain.

Ragain is accused of violating a district policy against having mercury in schools when he brought a plastic bottle of mercury to class on Aug. 18. A spoonful of the liquid metal spilled from the container and was tracked throughout the wing of the building.

The district closed the school for a day to decontaminate the building. Health officials said no one was harmed by the spill.

Ragain, a 10-year veteran, has not yet responded to the district's letter.


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