An unidentified chemical contaminant spilled onto the first floor of 115 Greenough on Nov. 3, and school principal Anthony Meyer left the school at 1:12 p.m. appearing to clear and ventilate the affected area.
In an email, Meyer said that tomorrow, Nov. 4, classes would resume as scheduled and all extracurricular events scheduled for this afternoon and evening would still take place. Meyer also changed the end of the quarter by one day from the early dismissal.
“The building has been deemed safe by Brookline Public Health in consultation with Boston Hazmat,” Meyer said. “We are grateful to our students and staff for their quick evacuation and patience as we worked to assess the situation. I’m delaying the end of term by a day so teachers can adjust the timing of tests, quizzes, and other major assessments if needed. »
All students and staff were evacuated around 11:47 a.m. According to Brookline Public Schools, at least two students and two staff members are known to have been taken to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
Junior Justina Wang was in the building when the irritant started spreading. Wang said everyone in the cafeteria started having a simultaneous reaction.
“Everyone started coughing and the people in front of us were turning around [really red]. Then one of the guards came by and [told us] “You should probably leave this area,” Wang said.
Anthony Neal, special education aide and paraprofessional, said he heard a disturbing noise while in the cafeteria.
“I heard a loud popping sound right after the fire alarm went off,” Neal said. “The fire alarm was flashing and I heard a pop near where the cashiers [in the cafeteria] were.”
Math teacher Lisa Rodriguez was trying to eat lunch in the STEM commons when the incident happened. She said there were gradually more people reacting to the suffusion.
“I couldn’t breathe and was coughing like crazy, so I [went] at [drink] water from the fountain next to the girls’ bathroom,” Rodriguez said. “Then I tried to go back to the restaurant, and there were four or five kids and Zac Broken Rope [a teacher], who was also passing by, coughing with watery eyes. Deans then sounded the fire alarm.
Junior Nathan Feuerman said his math class was cut short because of the incident.
“I was sitting in math class with Mr. Paniagua, in room 364. We heard the alarm, and as we walked out I smelled gas,” Feuerman said.
Associate Dean Lisa Redding said students and staff were unable to breathe and had watery eyes, and many went to the nurse with chest irritations.
Meyer asked the students to be transparent about the incident as the investigation unfolds.
“We are investigating this incident with the Brookline Police Department,” Meyer wrote. “If you have information, please do your part and share what you know with your dean, guidance counselor or trusted adult.”
This is an update story. Check back for more updates.